Preventing Formosan Termite Infestations

formosan termites eating wood inside of a home in houston texas

The Formosan subterranean termite is a particularly nasty invasive termite species from China that has spread throughout North America, and has adapted extremely well to its new environment. Their destructive capability raises economic concerns in places like Dallas, Houston, and Fort Worth. The Formosan subterranean termite is sometimes called the “super termite” because of its incredibly destructive capabilities. This is due, in part, to the incredible size of their colonies, and the rapid rate at which they consume wood. The number of individuals in a colony can vary, but they can easily number in the millions given optimal access to resources.

A mature Formosan termite colony has the ability to consume upwards of 13 ounces of wood a day, and they can forage up to 300 feet in any direction through many types of soil. Naturally, the presence of a colony poses a serious threat to nearby man-made structures, and they can cause irreparable structural damage in as little as three months.

These termites have been known to infest a variety of structures, including boats and high-rise condominiums, and routinely cause massive treatment and repair costs. However, it’s most common to see Formosan termites in the southern areas of the United States, because their eggs will not hatch in temperatures below 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Formosan termite is by far one of the most destructive pests in the United States. Formosan subterranean termites are among the most destructive pests in the U. S. Experts estimate that it costs homeowners upwards of $1 billion annually in order to prevent and redress issues caused by these termites. In New Orleans alone, for example, somewhere between 30-50% of the city’s historic oak trees are infested with termites, which costs the city about $300 million every year in upkeep costs. In an effort to control the ever-expanding populations of termites, the use of pesticides has raised costs for consumers and led to negative effects on the environment like the contamination of water supplies due to runoff.

It’s interesting to note that, once established in a particular area, a colony of Formosan termites has never been fully eradicated - only temporarily deterred.

Formosan termites will eat nearly any object made of wood, including other materials containing cellulose, like paper and cardboard. Although these insects feed mainly on wood, they’ve also been known to chew through foam insulation boards, thin lead and copper sheeting, plaster, asphalt, and some plastics. The queen of a Formosan termite colony has a life span of about 15 years and can produce up to 2,000 eggs per day. Workers and soldiers have a life span of around 3 to 5 years.

If termites have made unsightly appearances around your home or business, call Cantu Pest & Termite and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced pest control experts.

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