As an annual onslaught of termites descends on southern states like Texas from late spring to early summer, one Louisiana man has come up with an innovative way to combat them that will remain burned in memories forever.
Kenny Bellau, a resident of Slidell, Louisiana, recently posted a video to his social media account showing viewers his unique way of fighting the swarms.
Bellau filmed himself attacking a swarm of termites in his backyard with a DIY flamethrower made of a small blowtorch and a can of starter fluid.
While he told the local news outlet WGNO that he “terminated thousands and thousands,” they kept coming back.
“It wasn’t doing anything to help at all. … within two seconds, all their buddies replaced them over my head,” Bellau said, according to Fox 4.
Formosan termites are notorious for their seasonal appearances, causing many residents of Texas, Louisiana, and other southern states to take to social media to either share the grief associated with these swarming pests or share extermination methods like Bellau did.
— Eric Jeansonne (@Weatheric) April 29, 2023
Native to southern China, Formosan termites reside in massive underground colonies, according to Pest World.
Joe Martin, an entomologist at Terminix, said that the termites swarming in Bellau’s video are the young termites leaving the colony.
“On a night after rain you get moisture, termites fly out of the mother colony, and they are having a mating party in the lights,” he explained, according to WGNO.
As can be seen in Bellau’s video, this is why the termite swarms head towards the flame.
Just as soon as one cloud of them was eviscerated, another one took its place.
A single colony of Formosan termites may release over 70,000 swarmers in one night, according to Pest World. With their queens able to produce more than 1,000 eggs per day, a few thousand burnt up in one night is no big deal.
For this reason, it is advised to turn to professional help when dealing with a termite infestation.
While his unconventional method of extermination has gained him some online acclaim, Bellau cautioned others against replicating his approach, “Don’t try this at home. It’s not effective. It doesn’t work,” according to Fox 4.
He also said that his local fire department was far from amused, for obvious reasons.
“I’ve been reminded that I need to grow up,” Bellau told WGNO.