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Asian and Formosan Termites

February 17, 2017


formosan termite on piece of wood

Termite alert! Termite alert! Termite alert! This is your friendly, neighborhood Nozzle Nolen blog reporting on dangerous new termites in South Florida. Our worst fears have come true, as Asian and Formosan termites have invaded South Florida. Yes, that’s right, Asian and Formosan termites are infesting homes in South Florida. This isn’t all that new for Florida, but a new study by the University of Florida was released detailing the activities of Asian and Formosan termites. According to the study, these termites have increased their range and grown exponentially since 2000. Homeowners be wary, these little guys can really hurt your house.

First of all, what are Asian and Formosan termites?

The short answer is that they are non-native termites. Also, their full names are Asian subterranean termites and Formosan subterranean termites. Both are from Southeast Asia, specifically, Formosan termites are from Taiwan. These termites have been spreading across the globe slowly since the 1600’s. So how did they get to the US? The same way they got to everywhere else: they hitched a ride on boats and, eventually planes. Cargo transportation by sea, air, or land is the easiest way for non-native species to invade new places. We know that Formosan termites have been in Florida since at least 1980 since there was a report of a huge colony in Hallandale.

So what’s the big deal about these termites?

The big deal is that these termites have BIG colonies. A well-established colony can have over a million termites in it. Yeah, that’s a lot of termites. Just imagine the damage a million termites could do to your precious house. That’s not the end of it either. Remember when I said they’re subterranean termites? In case you don’t know, subterranean means they live underground. Asian and Formosan termites will bury underground creating tunnels that will allow them to travel and also provide protection. So they make little tunnels, because they’re little guys’ right? Well, yes, but there’s millions of them making tunnels and most likely it will be under your house. According to the University of Florida, a single colony of Formosan termites can contain millions of members digging up to 300 feet worth of tunnels. Formosan termites don’t even need the ground in order to colonize. Aerial Formosan termites caused 25% of the cases in urban South Florida. When water pools on the top of or on buildings, such as condominiums, aerial Formosan termites can colonize in that area. Also, a myth floating around is that they can break through concrete. They cannot break through concrete, but they can squeeze through tiny cracks in concrete.

Stopping these little guys is hard, but they can be taken care of through pressure treating any wood in your home. The friendly professionals here at Nozzle Nolen can also treat your lawn or use baits in order to wipe out the infestation. We offer many environmental and pet-friendly options based on your needs. Give us a call today for your free termite inspection!

References

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/termites/formosan_termite.htm

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/termites/havilandi.htm

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/sfl-invasive-species-of-termites-rapid-growth-in-south-florida-20160630-htmlstory.html




 

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