Fiji is an island where termites are not alien, but a sudden resurgence of the creatures has seen termite control authorities calling for early lights out times for locals. According to the termite control officials from the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji, locals should put their lights out or use low lighting at the times of 18:00 to 20:00 hours for the next three weeks at least.

The call was broadcast fairly recently, after huge swarms of the insects brought out cries from civilians for termite control companies. Only last weekend, various parts of the country were struck by clouds of the pests sweeping over and even into their homes, prompting residents of the affected areas to panic. Some of the places that were struck worst were Lautokoa, Tomuka, Saru, Natabua, and Tavakubu. The Biosecurity Authority, also known as the BAF, was swiftly called in to remedy the situation.

The BAF decided to start lighting fires along with crews from the national fire agencies, and are also suggesting that residents do the same while putting out all electrical lights and lamps in their houses. The idea is to get the termites—who, like moths, are attracted to illumination—to fly into the fires and thus exterminate themselves. If there are other, harmless lamps nearby, however, such as electric lights and bulbs, the fires shall prove less effective, as the flying insects’ attentions shall be strongly divided.

Fiji residents have already taken heed of the cry and have begun to observe the measures strictly, turning off their household lights at the appointed time, which is when dark falls. Some of them also build fires in their yards, although authorities are cautioning that the residents who do this should always supervise the blaze. Unmonitored fires have the capacity to cause faster, worse damage than any swarm of termites can do in a single night, after all, so authorities are making sure to keep fire officials involved in the termite control process.

Residents are also being advised to shut all apertures or entrances to their home, to prevent the termites from gaining access. While it is true that termites do not generally establish a nest in every structure they happen to enter, it is better to be safe. Officials say that locals should check the outsides of their homes for possible cracks, fissures, and other types of gaps into which termites can wedge. Windows should be shut at the swarming hours and doors closed firmly as well, else the termites fly into the house. Residents have been quick to follow the recommended termite control measures, according to the authorities, who are optimistic about the local communities’ chances of getting through this time with few damages.

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