Why We Should Be Concerned About Formosan Termites

October 20, 2020

In the United States, no insect is more feared by property owners than the termite. And of all the termites we have here, the subterranean termite is head and shoulders above the rest in terms of destructive capability. But, within the category of termites known as the subterranean termite, there is an even more destructive species. It is known scientifically as Coptotermes formosanus, and commonly as the Formosan subterranean termite.

Before the 1960’s, there was no such thing as a Formosan subterranean termite in the United States. These insects had not yet reached our shores. They were too busy ravaging China, Japan, South Africa, and other remote countries. Then, reports of a new, highly destructive termite species started to appear in Texas and Louisiana. Over the next two decades, they slowly worked their way across the southern states, establishing themselves in each state, until they finally made their home here in Florida as well.

It didn’t take long for pest control experts in this state to realize we were in trouble. In all of the areas Formosan subterranean termites had established themselves previously, they had never been successfully eradicated. And Formosan colonies were known to have millions of individual termites, rather than the hundreds of thousands found in the colonies of native species. That’s a lot of mouths to feed. And that is a lot of destructive capability. What’s worse is Formosan subterranean termites are able to bring moisture to their nests, enabling them to establish themselves entirely inside a man-made structure with no need for contact with the ground. That means all those feeding termites don’t have to travel far for a meal–vastly increasing how much damage they can do.

Like all subterranean termites, Formosan termites feed indiscriminately on wood and other materials such as cardboard, paper, foam insulation boards, thin lead and copper sheeting, asphalt plaster, and some plastics. This can lead to the following damage:

  • Bulging walls that look like they’ve been damaged by water.
  • Bubbling wallpaper.
  • Ceilings that dip down.
  • Floors that begin to sink.
  • Doors and windows that stick or open freely.
  • Areas of carved damage in locations that are moist.
  • Collapsing structures.
  • Warped wall studs.
  • Most of the damage termites do is inside walls, ceilings, and the wood itself. When this damage is exposed by new construction, the damage will make wood appear shredded.

When these damaging termites come to feed on your home, there are two primary ways you can deal with them.

One requires the installation of a chemical barrier around your home. This liquid treatment is pet-friendly and targets termites in a unique way. When termites pass through it, they pick it up and share it with other termites. This eventually contaminates the whole colony, even the queen. When the queen dies, the colony dies with her.

The other way is a bait system. A perimeter of bait stations is established to monitor for termite activity and, when activity is seen, the bait is switched with another bait that has an active ingredient that targets and destroys termite colonies. Bait is not only 100% eco-friendly, it requires no trenching or drilling. It also takes advantage of the natural behavior of termite workers. When termites feed on a home, they don’t focus on one location. They are continually looking for food sources, so they are sure to find the bait stations when they come near to your home. When they pick up the bait, it works its way back to the queen, and the colony dies.

Both of these treatment options work to stop the damage caused by Formosan subterranean termites. And, when you have Nozzle Nolen Pest Solutions take care of your termite protection, you get our No Fine Print Million Dollar Guarantee, if your home qualifies. That means we’ll cover up to one million dollars in damage repairs if termites get past us. You’re never left holding the bill. That is real peace of mind, especially here in South Florida.

No Florida home should be without termite protection. Get yours in place today by reaching out to us right here on our website. You can live chat with us, or give us a call at 1.800.226.6536, to get more information or to schedule service. 

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