Identifying And Controlling A Formosan Termite Infestation

We are in termite season in the South, and the Formosan species is ready to do some damage. These termites have been around for as long as 65 years, with some accounts placing their introduction into the country in 1956, when they arrived by boat from the Far East in infested wooden shoring timbers. Since then, they have caused nothing but havoc.

A Formosan termite colony can reach over 1 million members, at which point, they just tear through wood, causing an excessive amount of damage. On top of that, Formosan termites have been known to eat through materials such as thin sheets of soft metal, plastic, rubber, creosote, asphalt and plaster, in order to reach wood or to expand their colonies. They will start to swarm in late May through June, and they will usually be drawn to your property by the artificial lights you have outside.

Identifying the infestation

Besides swarmers, you will almost never see Formosan termites out in the open. Swarmers are reproductive termites that have wings and which fly around looking for a new nesting location. They look similar to ant swarmers, but they have a broader waist and two equal sets of wings. If you see these swarmers in the home or on your property, you can take them out, either with some insecticide or using physical force.

Seeing swarmers means one of two things: either you have a termite infestation in the home, and these swarmers are flying out from the colony on your property, or the swarmers are looking to start a new colony on your property. The presence of swarmers does not always indicate an infestation, but it’s a red flag, and you should look for other signs, such as mud tubes around the foundation of the home. These tubes are used by the termites to travel above ground, since they cannot be out in the open for too long. You can also check the wood in the home by tapping it. If it sounds hollow, it means there may be an infestation.

Controlling the infestation

A termite infestation needs to be handled by a professional in the majority of cases. If you have experience with DIY projects, you can try to install a baiting system yourself. However, other treatment options will require professional tools and knowledge. If you spot a Formosan termite infestation on your property, or if you suspect that you may have one, contact us today, and we can help you get it under control.


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