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Formosan Termites

Formosan Soldiers
Formosan termites are a sub-species of subterranean termite approximately 1/2-inch long, larger than the typical subterranean termite species. The winged reproductives are pale yellow to brownish yellow, and their hairy wings have two dark veins at the leading edge. They have a small pore, known as a fontanelle, on the front of their heads

Formosan Termite Biology

Formosan termites are subterranean termites that usually live in the ground, build mud tubes and construct carton nests consisting of soil and wood cemented together with saliva and feces. Swarms appear on warm and rainy days around dusk and continue into the evening. The swarmers are attracted to lights.

Formosan Termite Habits

Formonsan DamageThe Formosan termite is the most destructive termite species that infests structures in the United States. These termties are industrious, easily out-competing native species in tunnel building and destruction of wood. An average-sized colony consumes 14 linear feet of pine studs in one year. In three months they can cause extensive damage to wood in structures. their carton nests retain moisture and enable colonies and satellite colonies to establish aerial nests and survive without maintaining contact with the soil.

Formosan Termite Geography

Formosan MapFormosan termites have been found in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

Formosan Termite Treatment

Termite InspectionControl of Formosan termites begins with a thorough inspection to determine the extent of the infestation, the points of entry into the structure, moisture problems and other contributing factors, and the development of a control plan. The initial step in sunterreanean termite control is to remove any scrap wood, firewood or any other wood materials in contact with the soil. Water leaks and situations where there is more than 15 percent wood moisture conent must be corrected.

Mechanical alterations and removal of infested wood and replacement with treated wood is useful, but it usally does not stop the termites from gaining access to wood in the structure. Formosan termites are controlled in the same manner as other subterranean termites. Carton nests should be removed from the structure; however if this is not possible , they should be treated with residual insectides.

For overview of treatment techniques click here.

Formosan Termite Colony Information

An average colony contains 350,000 individuals, but colonies that contain millions of individuals are not uncommon.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Informational Film on Formosan Termites


Formosan Termites and You
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