Pest Guide for Formosan Termites
Formosan subterranean termites are one of the most destructive types of termites in the world. While they operate like other termites, their aggressive behavior and large colony sizes can cause a tremendous amount of property damage.
Originating in China, the Formosan subterranean termite descended into Formosa (the main island in Taiwan) in the early 1900s and was given its name there. After that, the termites spread to Japan, Hawaii, and South Africa. By the 1960s, Formosan termites were found in Texas, Louisiana, and South Carolina and have continued to spread across the U.S. They’ve been able to spread quickly because of their ability to quickly colonize, but also because colonies can be passed from state to state through potted plants and infested trees.
While Formosan infestations can happen at any time, swarms of these termites usually occur between the months of April and July and this is when infestations are most likely. The termites build large colonies of up to several million individuals and their territory can spread several hundred yards, which is why it’s important to detect an infestation as quickly as possible. Since they’re attracted to light, you can often find them in areas like windows, windowsills, and light fixtures.
Like other termites, Formosan termites feed on wood and materials that contain cellulose (the main ingredient found in plants). However, they may also feed on materials like cardboard, paper, copper sheeting, and asphalt. Because they can eat their way through a variety of materials, they can easily cause destruction and need to be removed at the first sign of damage. Luckily, we at Ledford’s have a specific termite treatment for Formosans and can get rid of them before they get out of hand.
Generally, these termites live underground in carton nests, but there are times that they will build nests above the ground where moisture is present. This means you can find them under porches or rooftops, on boats, or in landscaped areas where it’s damp.
Signs of a Formosan Infestation
As with other termites, it can be hard to tell if your home or business has been infested. Some obvious signs of an infestation include seeing the termites themselves or finding a visible nest (often in your attic or void walls), but often times, it’s not that easy. Here are some other (less obvious) signs of an infestation:
- Damp or moist patches
- Blistered paint
- Damaged wood
- Soft spots in walls or floors
- Bubbles in wallpaper or on ceiling
Also, look for mud shelter tubes that termites create to travel safely between their nest and their food source. Typically, the tubes can be found on walls, floors, ceilings or sticking out from trees or other surfaces.
If you think your home or office has a Formosan termite infestation, don’t hesitate to call our pest control company. Getting rid of termites on your own can be exhausting, and we’re experts in termite control. We’ll send a professional out to inspect your home or property and if we find an infestation, we’ll apply a special termite treatment to eliminate these destructive pests before they cause too much damage.