– About the presence of termites in Florence

TITOLO – About the presence of termites in Florence

This work highlights the problem of the presence of the termites Reticulitermes lucifugus and Kalotermes flavicollis, detected in an area of the historic center of Florence (Italy). Pest management was immediately undertaken by a specific monitoring program to determine the status of the infestation, identifying the critical elements and their potential impact on the structures involved, as well as outlining the necessary control measures. Analyzing the area, several colonies of both termite species were detected, some located within the wooden flooring of a gym and some others outdoor, in tree stumps and in necrosated roots at the base of some trees. Two episodes of collapsed tall trees were also reported. Termites were detected also in other areas of the city of Florence, such as the Cascine park and the Boboli garden, where many trees were clearly infested by K. flavicollis. This work allowed to realize that problems with termite infestations could be higher than expected, by seriously threatening the historical and artistic heritage of the city and by causing trees weakening in public areas, thus also threatening the people safety. Taking into account these findings, we suggest to extend the termite survey to the entire city and to establish a working group, with multidisciplinary competences, able to develop a proper prevention and control program aimed at the protection of cultural heritage and management of tree health in public parks.