Formosan Subterranean Termites
Formosan subterranean termites (Coptotermes formosans) , also known as “super termites,” are a highly invasive species of termite that are native to China and Taiwan. They were first identified in the United States in the 1960s in New Orleans, Louisiana, and have since spread to many other parts of the country, including Houston, Texas.
Formosan subterranean termites are known for their aggressive behavior and their ability to cause extensive damage to homes and other structures. They live in large colonies, which can contain millions of individuals, and they can consume large amounts of wood in a short period of time.
One of the key characteristics of Formosan subterranean termites is their ability to build above-ground nests, also known as “carton nests.” These nests are made of a mixture of soil, wood, and other materials and can be found on the exterior of buildings, in attics, and in other areas. They also can have underground colonies as well, which can cause extensive damage to the structures’ foundations.
Formosan subterranean termites also have a larger worker caste than other subterranean species, which allows them to consume wood at a faster rate. They are also known to forage for food over much greater distances, which makes them more difficult to control.
In addition to causing structural damage, Formosan subterranean termites can also create other problems for homeowners. Their nests and tunnels can cause walls to bulge or collapse, and they can create a musty smell in the home. They also can cause allergic reactions in some individuals.
To prevent or control Formosan subterranean termites, it is important to eliminate any sources of moisture near the home, as termites require moisture to survive. It’s also important to keep an eye out for signs of infestation, such as mud tubes, droppings, or swarming termites. If you suspect that you have a Formosan subterranean termite infestation, it is essential to contact a professional pest control company for an inspection and treatment.
There are several methods of treatment for Formosan subterranean termites, including liquid treatments, baiting systems, and fumigation. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the best approach will depend on the specific situation.
For example, liquid treatments involve injecting a pesticide into the soil around the foundation of the building. These treatments can be effective, but they require regular reapplication and may not reach all of the termites in the colony. Baiting systems, on the other hand, involve placing bait stations around the perimeter of the building. These stations contain a slow-acting pesticide that the termites take back to the colony, which can be effective but may take longer to see results. Fumigation is the most drastic measure, it involves tenting the entire structure and pumping in a gas to kill all the termites, it’s highly effective, but also the most expensive and disruptive method.
It’s important to note that preventing and controlling Formosan subterranean termites requires a combination of techniques and regular inspections. A professional pest control company can help you develop a comprehensive plan to protect your home and keep Formosan subterranean termites at bay.