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What are Formosan Termites?

Termites. Just the mention of the word can create a feeling of panic. And for good reason. Although they offer some good benefits for the environment, such as help breakdown dead trees and aerate the soil, termites can create problems when they move into a home. One of the most damaging types of termite species is the Formosan termite. Coupled with an insatiable appetite and large colony size with a population in the millions, this subterranean termite can create substantial structural damage in a short amount of time. Although subterranean means underground, Formosan termites build and inhabit nests above ground near or within the infested structure. Here, they can feed, reproduce, and survive for months and even years.

If you’re curious and wonder if a colony of Formosan termites just moved in, the following can help you identify these pests, know the signs of infestation, and take back your home in the event of a Formosan termite infestation.

How to Identify Formosan Termites?

Like other insect colonies, such as bees, Formosan termite colonies group in classes called castes. These include winged or wingless reproductives, soldiers, and workers. The workers make up most of the colony population with soldiers coming in second. Infestations including a large number of soldiers can indicate a Formosan termite colony. The following characteristics can help identify the different castes in a Formosan termite colony.

  • Reproductive Formosan Termites: Attracted to light, reproductives swarm at night and reach approximately 12-15 mm long. Their bodies are covered with dense hair, and they are yellowish brown in color.
  • Soldier Formosan Termites: Orange-brown in color and oval head, when provoked, aggressive soldiers release a sticky, white defensive secretion.
  • Worker Formosan Termites: Off-white to white colored and approximately a half inch in length, workers can often be mistaken for other termite species or ants.

Signs of Formosan Termite Infestation

Some telltale signs of a Formosan termite infestation can begin in your own backyard. Clues such as mud tubes, known as shelter tubes, swarming reproductives at night near light sources or windows, and, of course, wood damage. Termite nests in the soil can also show a termite colony has made a home in the yard. Nests may appear outside or within the walls inside the home and consist of wood particles, termite excrement, and soil.

Once these pests invade the home, signs of termite infestation can appear as hollowed out or blistered wood surfaces, shelter tubes in the foundation or walls, water stains or leaks, and rotted wood. Small droppings and discarded reproductive wings can also show a growing termite infestation in the home.

How to Treat a Formosan Termite Infestation

Although prevention is the best way to manage any pest problem, even the best laid plans can go awry. Fortunately, homeowners have options when they suspect a Formosan termite infestation.

A professional termite inspection can thoroughly investigate for infestation inside and outside of the home, determine any damage, and what measures to take to mitigate the situation. If indeed a Formosan termite infestation, a termite extermination service can provide different treatment options. Used as a single application or a combination, baits, barrier treatments, and fumigation are highly effective options for treating a Formosan termite infestation.

Other considerations to treating and preventing a Formosan termite infestation are making structural repairs to make the home less inviting for these pests. When termites lose access to comforts such as food and water, they are less likely to make your home theirs. This includes removing dead trees from the yard, avoiding wooden planters, repairing leaky faucets and drains quickly, and steering clear of wood chips or mulch in garden beds.

Professional Termite Inspection

Formosan termites are aggressive and can severely damage the structure of your home quickly. If you notice the signs of these termites in or around your home, call for professional help. Because of their large colony size, a Formosan termite infestation can be difficult to resolve on your own. Without professional expertise,  and can quickly escalate to bigger problems and cost.

Local and family-owned, Eliminate ‘Em Pest Control has served the Northeast for over 35 years. With fully licensed and certified technicians, we use the most current practices for effective and safe pest removal, including termite control and extermination services. Our team can assess all areas of the home and identify potential entry areas for termites and other pests and provide an individualized plan for termite extermination and prevention. Contact Eliminate ‘Em for a free quote and protect your home from termite infestation.