Treasured Places We Protect: Jackson Square, New Orleans

Homeowners aren’t the only ones talking about the Sentricon® System. Caretakers of many historic landmarks across the United States also trust the No. 1 brand in termite protection to preserve and protect these national treasures. This is the first in a series of blogs that will introduce you to some of the places the Sentricon System protects.

Jackson Square large shot

New Orleans’ Jackson Square. Ed Bordes of New Orleans says that installation of the Sentricon System “successfully saved the French Quarter.”


Many tourists come to New Orleans’ French Quarter for the cuisine.  So do termites—albeit with vastly different tastes.

While visitors dine on classic dishes such as crawfish and jambalaya, termites are feasting on the flat-roofed wooden homes and public structures that dominate the architecture of the Quarter. Many of the buildings have shared walls and were built with porous stucco, enabling the fierce Formosan termites to chew their way through their food source.  Unfortunately Jackson Square, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the French Quarter, has been particularly plagued with termites.

While its buildings and humid weather have always made New Orleans a hotspot for Eastern Subterranean termites, Formosan termites probably hitched a ride to the Crescent City sometime after World War II on ships traveling from Asia.  According to this article from the New Orleans Historical Society, experts estimate that 20-25% of the trees in the city have been infested with Formosan termites, having adapted to urban living by nesting in trees, homes and buildings. They made their home in Jackson Square by infesting some of the historic buildings that directly surround the area.

In the decades after the first Formosan infestation, treatment was limited to liquid termiticides that had little impact on the eradication of termite colonies. The situation became so dire that in 1997, the New Orleans Mosquito Control Board added termite responsibilities to their duties to better determine what could be done to save the buildings that were such a vital part of New Orleans’ history.  The Board researched the latest technology available and found that Sentricon might offer the best option for treatment. The Cabildo, which stands next to the St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square and was the location of the signing of the Louisiana Purchase, was one of the first buildings to be protected. The Presbytere, which flanks the Square and was built to match the architecture of the Cabildo, was also protected.

Jackson Square itself was also protected, with a ring of approximately 100 in-ground stations around the perimeter. But before the Sentricon® System was installed at Jackson Square, the area was monitored with wood blocks to confirm the termites from the Square were actually foraging into the Pontalbas Apartments.

Today, Sentricon still protects these storied buildings. Ed Bordes, former Director of the New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board, states, “Before Sentricon was installed in the French Quarter, I was getting 20-25 calls a year about swarms and infestation. After the installation, it went down to one call a year. I’d say that installation successfully saved the French Quarter. “


One of the many Sentricon stations hard at work in the French Quarter.


Want to learn more? See more pictures of famous places we protect on our Facebook and Pinterest pages. You can also find a Certified Sentricon Specialist to visit your treasured place—your home—and tell you how the Sentricon® System can protect you as well.

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