Formosan Termites are the most voracious, aggressive, and crafty of the more than 2,000 kinds of termites. They can eat through wood, flooring, and wallpaper undetected.
What are Formosan Termites?
In the Formosan termite population, there are three distinct social groups: alates (reproductives), soldiers, and laborers. Formosan t Termites are the most voracious, aggressive, and crafty of the more than 2,000 kinds of termites known to science. They can eat through wood, flooring, and even wallpaper undetected. To describe them, they're commonly known as "super termites."
What Do Formosan Termites Look Like?
Alates, sometimes known as swarmers, are little wasps with wings that measure about 5/16" (14–15 mm) in total. From pale yellow to brownish yellow, their bodies can be found. They have long, hairy wings with thin, translucent wings.
The soldiers of Formosan termites have rounded sides and tapered fronts, but the heads of native subterranean termites are rectangular. They lack teeth in their mandibles.
How to Identify Formosan Termites?
Identifying which termite group is causing problems is essential because each one has distinct biology and requires a different management method. Formosan termites are comparable to other underground termite species, such as Asian subterranean termites and Eastern subterranean termites; thus, it's best to consult a professional pest treatment specialist for an accurate diagnosis.
Swarmers of Formosan termites, like flying ants, can easily be mistaken for flying ants. It is easy to tell a flying ant from a termite since they both have small waists. As a bonus, termites' antennae are straight, unlike flying ants' rounded antennae. For the record, flying ants have bigger front wings than termites.
Formosan Termite Infestation Signs
A Formosan termite infestation can be detected by a few telltale indications. A Formosan infestation is confirmed by the presence of swarmers or flying reproductives. Swarmers (and their lost wings) can be found close to windowsills, doorways, lights, and vents because they are attracted to light sources.
Another sign of Formosan termites is hollow-sounding wood that may be tapped. In many cases, it appears as if the wood's grain pattern has been eaten away. To learn more about the symptoms of termite infestation, click here.
Anyone who has reason to believe they have a termite infestation should seek out Formosan termite management and treatment.
Formosan Termite Prevention
Formosan termite infestations can be prevented if homeowners have an annual professional termite inspection, or at least every three to five years, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors. The first step is to remove moisture sources from within and outside the home, but there are many other options available. Lowering the humidity in basements, attics, and crawl spaces is a good idea for homeowners. To prevent Formosan termites from gaining access to the home's foundation, use effective downspouts, gutters, and splash blocks outside. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house, with 1-inch spacing between the dirt and wood portions to prevent it from blowing into the house. Additionally, it's a good idea to inspect the foundation of your home on a regular basis for signs of mud tubes, decayed lumber, and hollow wood.
Where do Formosan Termites Come From and Currently Live?
When the Formosan termite was initially described in its native Taiwan (Formosa) in the early 1900s, no one knew it was native to southern China. It was not until 1956 that a Formosan termite was discovered in the contiguous United States. Wood freight shipments are thought to have brought them into the country.
Termites from Formosa prefer the current weather since it is more moderate (to 35 degrees north latitude in the United States). They can be found in several southern states, including Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. ' Smaller populations of Formosan termites have been found as far north as the Canadian Border. Railroad timbers salvaged for landscaping are the primary cause of most of the inland epidemic of Formosan termites.
Formosan Termite Habits
There are several similarities between Formosan termites and eastern subterranean termites. A typical underground colony has an average of 350,000 workers and is built up from the dirt to the wood of a building. Formosans may also make additional carton nests above ground if there is a large moisture supply. Excreta and saliva from termites are combined with mud and wood to construct carton nests.
Formosan termites are more frequent than eastern subterranean termites in terms of the number of termite colonies found in the air. Actually, they're in charge of 25% of Florida's structural infestations and 50% of the high-rise infestations in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Formosan termite queens have been known to lay upwards of a thousand eggs in a single day. Freed from the colony, winged termites, also known as swarmers, disperse to start new colonies. Swarming is common after a warm, rainy day in late spring or early summer. Over 70,000 termites have been observed swarming in Formosan termite colonies.
Threats From Formosan Termites
Termites from Formosa are notoriously difficult to get rid of after they've established a colony. Formosan termites can devour up to 31 grams of food a day, despite the fact that there are known colonies of several million termites. At this rate, a colony could demolish a foot of 2X4 lumber in 25 days, posing a major threat to a house's structural integrity within six months.
Formosans can infect not only structures but also living trees and plants, utility poles, landscape timbers, wooden railroad trusses, and even boats. The insulation on telephone and electric line covers has been known to be gnawed through by them as well, resulting in costly damage and power outages in urban areas.
It was projected in 2005 that termites cost the U.S. economy more than $5 billion annually, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).
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