The Threat of Formosan Termites

The formosan subterranean termite, also called the “super termite, is an invasive insect that thrives in mass numbers and ingests wood products that contain cellulose. These termites typically reside in colonies that contain several million members, which are abnormally high colony numbers for this species. They have a tendency to take over a structure completely whether it is a home residence, boat, condo or single tree. These termites are estimated to cause nearly $2 billion in yearly property damage in the United States. That is why it is so important to notify a reliable and professional extermination company upon their discovery.


The formosan termite colony is comprised of a king, queen, soldiers, workers and alates (winged reproducers or swarmers). Individuals are identified by the appearance of the soldiers and alates. They measure from .5 to .6 inches in length and the body has a yellowish-brown caste. The soldier has a white body and teardrop-shaped head which is orange-brown. They have been known to tunnel in soil up to 300 feet in various directions and depths. The soldiers and alates are fully mature at 3 to 5 years. A queen and her colony can live for up to 15 years. One they enter a residence, they are extremely territorial, protecting their food source against other insects and termites. A typical colony can consume up to 13 ounces of raw or treated wood per day and literally ruin a structure within three months. With the capability of producing 2,000 eggs per day, the need for a professional pest controller is evident to arrest the infestation early.

Origin and Range

The formosan termites originated from Taiwan, Formosa, southern China and Japan. Through overseas transportation, the termite was transported to Hawaii, South Africa and the United States in the 20th century, showing up in Texas, South Carolina and Louisiana in the 1960s. It quickly spread to the majority of the southern states where it now resides from California to Florida.

Structural Damage

Homes, condominiums, businesses, sheds, wooden boats, trees and docks are just some of the structures that can sustain damage from formosan termites. They can eat any wood structure, be it paneling, board planks or flooring, but the most serious concern involves damage to main support and joist beams that serve as load-carriers. Floors and roof structures can ultimate collapse when weakened by termite infestation, making the insect's presence a very serious and safety relation concern. A large tree weakened by termites can topple over onto a structure or vehicle, causing serious damage.

The Question of Irradiation

A professional pest control service, or “exterminator”, is the most practical, first-line defense against invading insects like formosan termites. Many homeowners think that handling the situation themselves with generic bug bombs or sprays will save them money and solve the problem. Homeowners can actually aggravate the problem by introducing harmful fumes and toxic substances into their homes, in addition to having done little to solve the pest problem. A professional pest control service has certified technicians who use special formulated chemicals that not only target individual insect species but use products that are consumer safe and pose no health risk. Their chemical products have resulted from years of research and development, and while safe, are unusually potent and effective in mass colony kills. A reliable pest control service will know exactly what to look for (formosan termites) and provide followup visits that keep the insects from reproducing and re-inhabiting the property.

When you consider the substantial investment in your home and property as well as the health risks, you will realize that a pest control service is a minimal cost compared to your most valuable possession. Take a while to visit this site and peruse the information. You will discover some facts here that will inform and surprise you.

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