Which is worse, Katerina or termites? For New Orleans both have been destructive forces. Katerina, of course being more recognizable. However, as the Katerina efforts successfully come to an end, the termite problem seems to have escalated.
According to the movie, Strange Days on Planet Earth, termites entered the US during WWII. Crates being shipped from China to America hosted these insects. When the crates were thrown away, these aliens made their escape to American homes. These homes and towns became wooden play grounds for termites to feast on.
Termites are small insects. However, they are numerous in number. They groom each other, share food, and communicate. Due to the sticky, hot climate and the newcomers abilities to nest above ground rather then only underground (like the native termites), these termites have been successful in damaging New Orleans since 1960.
Claudia Riegal, an expert, suggests “managing” the termites by first locating the nests of the termites, some can reach as long as 100ft in certain neighborhoods, and placing bait stations filled with poison in them. By doing this, Riegal hopes to cut off the main supply runs of the termites. This process will take three months, and will simply manage the termites, not eradicate them.
Some may be upset with the comparison between Katerina and the termites. However, the termites are a growing, invisible force that needs to be confronted. Therefore, I believe Riegal is doing an excellent job in trying to not only control these invasive animals, but understand them. By doing this she can hopefully eradicate the termites, and save New Orleans, rather then just “managing” them. Yet, the question then becomes, will these termites ever be able to be eradicated? Will New Orleans ever be able to escape destructive forces?