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We are used to assocating termites with wood, and for good reason. Obviously, termites crave the cellulose that is contained within wood and other forms of plant matter. This is why nobody is ever surprised to hear about a termite infestation occuring within a person’s home. However, termites are not always found within or near people’s timber-framed homes or wooded areas. In fact, just like people, many termites like to spend their busy season basking in coastal beach communities. The fact that termites are prevalent on American beaches is not necessarily well known. If you live in the termite-rich state of Florida, then seeing termite-infested structures on beaches is nothing new. Florida is notorious for its termite problem. Several different species of invasive termites are currently dwelling in Florida. The many port cities in southern Florida have allowed these invasive termites to access the US. Although Florida may get the most attention for its termite-related troubles, termites are well represented in coastal cities in California too. In Hermosa Beach, California, firefighters had to evacuate their fire station in response to worsening structural conditions brought on by a decades long termite infestation.

In Hermosa Beach, like in most cities, the fire department, the police station and the civic center are all located within the same general area. For several decades termites have been eating away at the civic center. This extensive termite infestation is having a particularly damaging effect on the local fire station. In fact, the fire station is already falling apart due to the voracious termites. Parts of the local fire station have already collapsed in response to termite damage. The city’s police station and civic center are also badly damaged by decades of termite activity. According to officials, extensive termite damage has rendered the fire station and civic center structurally and operationally deficient. The Civic Center will close soon for renovations and termite treatments, but some local council members are pushing to have entirely new buildings constructed. However, rebuilding these structures could cost more than one million dollars, an amount the city cannot afford.

Do you think that the dangerous termite situation in Hermosa Beach will result in structural failures that cause human injury or death to inhabitants?


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