The Minister of Natural Environment Management of the Government of the Canary Islands, Isabel Garcia (PSOE)stated this Thursday, November 24, before the opening of the I International Congress on Management and Control of Subterranean Termites which is held until tomorrow in the orotavathat the fight against the infestation of subterranean termites Reticulitermes flavipes will continue in Tenerife “between 5 and 10 more years”. He considers it key to maintain the budgetary commitment of the Council of Tenerife and of the Government of the Canary Islandswhich this year have dedicated some 2 million euros and foresee a similar investment for 2023.
“If funding was not committed in a stable manner in the coming years, its eradication would never be achieved,” he warns. isabella garcia, who adds that «the economic commitment of the administrations must be continuous. The Cabildo puts up a million euros every year and the Government of the Canary Islands They also put it in 2022 and we hope that next year, although the initial investment they propose is 500,000 euros, they can increase it a little more, like this year. The final cost of eradicating what we have detected estimated between 12 and 15 million eurosif more outbreaks do not continue to appear in other areas, “he reports.
«The plague is in a control situation, and except for some very specific issues, it is not expanding. In Adeje a focus appeared, already controlled, and we can never guarantee that a new one will not appear, but today it is quite fenced off and we are counterattacking it with baits, which work quite well. The treatment is effective and it is good newsbecause in the long run we know that it will be eradicated,” he warned.
The main difficulty in ending this pest is that it is an underground species, which is capable of generating large colonies that go unnoticed. On the island it is considered that there is an affection of around 600 hectares, although the greatest efforts are focused on some 33 hectares. In García’s opinion, “it is the largest area in which an intervention of this type has been carried out worldwide, hence the importance of this congress that brings together experts from United States, Canada, Chile, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Portugal and Spain to exchange experiences. It will be a very important meeting to advance in the eradication of this plague”.
Regarding the focus of adeje, the counselor pointed out that “despite the exact origin could not be determined, it is suspected that it could have been moved in a plant, pallet or wooden box used during the work to make up the urban forest of Adeje.” In tacoronte, “the plague is considered perimetrated”; in Aronathe focus is considered eradicated, and in Santiago del Teide“is about to be considered extinct.”
There are currently some 24,000 control points installed in Tenerife: some 14,386 wooden stakes to detect the presence of termites and some 8,500 biocide baits
Isabel García adds that areas like Los Naranjeros, in Tacoronteare already considered free of the plague, which now “remains more active in El Pris, Tagorosomething in the so-called ground zero and also in Valle Guerra, in La Laguna». The colonies have been significantly reduced in Tacoronte and from the Cabildo they trust that the protocols to fight the plague and waste treatment will prevent subterranean termites from affecting new areas of the island.
Nowadays there are 24,000 points control between baits (8,500) and wooden stakes. And the waste continues to accumulate in a plot where it is chipped and treated with a biocide before being transferred to the Arico environmental complex.
Most of the 8,500 biocide baits are placed in Tacoronte and La Laguna (about 7,000), although there are also in Santiago del Teide and Adeje and Arona
The regional vice-counselor for Ecological Transition, Miguel Angel Perez (PSOE), detailed before the opening of the aforementioned congress, at the Telesforo Bravo Visitors Center, that the budgetary commitment of the Government of the Canary Islands “will be maintained in the future.” In his opinion, “the most important thing is to contain the plague in the affected areas of Tenerife” and avoid new scares like the one that occurred in Lanzarote, where the Reticulitermes flavipes in a plant imported from Tenerife. the counselor Jose Antonio Valbuena (PSOE) He also attended the congress and valued the coordinated work with the Cabildo to end this plague.
Tenerife becomes the center of world research on subterranean termites, with the celebration of the I International Congress on this plague that takes place today and tomorrow at the Telesforo Bravo Visitors Center, in La Orotava. More than 12 termite specialists from the United States, Canada, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Chile, and Spain, specifically from Córdoba and La Laguna, gather at this meeting. Issues such as the management of termite pests, the insect’s biology, similar pests in other territories will be discussed, as well as the exposition of success stories and field visits to places on the island where there is a presence of termites. Reticulermes flavipes.