Is Your Home Susceptible to a Formosan Termite Invasion?

Written by Tony Rios of Cantu Pest Control
Updated June 1, 2016
Termite damage on wood
Pressure-treating wood with preservatives is one possible way of combatting hungry termites before damage occurs. (Photo by ©Thinkstock)

As the weather begins to warm up and many different types of insects begin to reproduce, the Formosan termites will be no exception.

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What are Formosan subterranean termites?

This particularly species is known as a super-termite because of its destructive capabilities. When breeding season arrives, it means even more of these troublesome insects will soon be present. Formosan subterranean termites are an invasive species in the United States.

They originally came to the U.S. from southern China, Taiwan and Japan. These pests tend to have large, resilient colonies and consume wood at a rapid rate, which can be a serious problem for homeowners. Formosan termite queens have been known to live upwards of 15 years, and have the ability to lay more than 2,000 eggs per day. 

Where do these termites live?

Although native to Asia, Formosan termites have since been found through the American south and southwest, including Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, and even in Hawaii. They have had the greatest economic impact in North America, and it is estimated that these insects cause up to $1 billion in damages annually. Compared to termite species native to North America, Formosan termites create vastly larger colonies. 

Many pest control experts agree that the Formosan termite is the most destructive, difficult to control, and economically dangerous termite species in the southern United States. They swarm when they are ready to reproduce, which usually occurs in late spring and summer. These insects take to the air in huge numbers in the hope of finding a mate and starting a new colony. 

This species usually swarms during periods of high humidity which usually follow warm, rainy days. Formosan swarms will be the most active during dusk and midnight. This multitude of flying insects is attracted to outdoor lights and will be drawn to external floodlights that may be illuminating the outside of your home. 

How to fight these termites

There are a number of different methods that one can use to combat Formosan subterranean termites. Some of these methods include:

Preventative practices: Pressure-treating wood with preservatives is one possible way of combatting hungry Formosan termites. Likewise, leaky plumbing, air conditioning condensation, and other areas of the home that may collect excessive moisture should be addressed in order to make your property less attractive to Formosan subterranean termites.

Soil treatment: Chemical barriers consisting of various pesticides are a popular solution to Formosan termite infestations. Your local pest control expert will be able to administer these insecticides in the safest way possible for family members and pets.

About this Experts Contributor: Tony Rios represents Cantu Pest Control. The experts at Cantu Pest Control have years of experience and are committed to helping you find the ideal pest control solution to fit home and circumstances. 

As of June 1, 2016, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List. 

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