Formosan "super-termites," known as the “most damaging termites in the world,” were identified in Israel for the first time on Wednesday. The termites were discovered in Petah Tikva by termite expert Tomer Lu, who reported the finding to the Environmental Protection Ministry’s Pest-Control and Pesticides department. Termites are known for their ability to cause extensive damage that can result in high costs for extermination and repairs. More than a billion dollars in damage is caused by termites each year in the USA alone, according to NPR.Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel said that “invasive species present a serious threat to public health, the environment and the economy. Termites especially may cause great damage to property and infrastructure.” She went on to say that as climate change worsens there will be an increase in the amount of invasive species in Israel.The Ministry has set up a termite task force to work on finding an extermination method and to advise local authorities and exterminators. The task force includes representatives from the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, alongside exterminations experts and academics.The Formosan termite is known as the termite that is able to eat more and reproduce faster than any other termite. “The Formosan termite is the most damaging in the world,” said Dr. Gilad Ben Tzvi, from the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History. Ben Tzvi went on to describe how the termite “hurts living and dead wood and often goes unidentified for long periods of time, until wood floors collapse or holes appear in plaster walls. It destroys railroad tracks, telephone poles…and underground electricity lines causing power outages.”"Climate change facilitates the spread and establishment of invasive species” and invasive species are a “global threat to food security and livelihood,” according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.