Formosan subterranean termites are a type of subterranean termite that is found in Malaysia. They can be one of the most destructive pests because they invade homes and cause damage to wood structures.
This blog post from Zip Pest Solutions will help you identify Formosan Subterranean Termites, their habits, how to prevent them from invading your home, and what to do if you find them inside your home.
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What are Formosan Subterranean Termites?
Formosan subterranean termites are termites that nest under the ground. They are usually found in the soil from the ground to about two feet below. They are a type of subterranean termite that is most often found in Malaysia.
These termites feed on materials that contain cellulose such as trees and plants. They also eat other scraps of dead plant material that they find in the soil or leaves on the ground as a food source.
Formosan subterranean termites have two major habits, eating wood and reproducing by swarming.
They can destroy structures made of wood including homes if populations are not controlled or eradicated properly because they will continue to move through cracks in floors, walls, foundations, furniture joints, etc.
How to Identify Formosan Subterranean Termites?
The Formosan subterranean termite is a dark brown in color with its head and body being roughly the same size. They have an orange-brown band at their waist that helps them distinguish themselves from other types of termites.
You can expect to see these termites under the ground, near damp areas, and near trees or plants. They don’t often come inside a house and infest furniture as drywood termites do, but they’re known to consume a house’s foundation if given the opportunity.
The Signs of Formosan Subterranean Termites
If Formosan subterranean termites are present, you will notice a couple of things such as mud tubes around the house or on the ground that they use to travel. You may also notice piles of frass, which is a term for excrement and debris from wood that these termites have chewed up as food sources.
You might see their droppings around your home made out of fecal matter with bits of undigested food mixed in it when you look closely at it. If you’ve seen swarms before, this could be another sign too because Formosan subterranean termite colonies swarm every now and then but usually not more than twice per year.
This usually happens during wet seasons so if you’re seeing them swarm outside your residence right after rain has passed, then this could be them.
Ways to Getting Rid of Formosan Subterranean Termites
There are three ways to get rid of Formosan termites, chemical treatments to your foundation, soil treatments, and baiting system.
Chemical treatments are the most effective and quickest way to get rid of them. However, they are costly and you’re not allowed to do this on your own because it’s considered a harsh chemical that requires a licensed professional to handle.
Soil treatment is applied around the perimeter of the building where soil meets cement or wood framing then mixed in with powdered borax that will kill any Formosan subterranean termite larvae inside those soils.
This method can be done yourself but take note that if there’s still an active colony somewhere else outside, then these babies could find their way back into your home via nesting near homes again or nearby trees and plants which means more work for you.
Baiting systems involve using bait stations strategically and placing them in the ground to attract the termites to them which leaves no chance for them to break through and get inside your home.
This is a slow process but it’s an effective way of getting rid of Formosan subterranean termite colonies without using pesticides that can harm humans, pets, or other wildlife.
Homeowners should never ignore a colony of Formosan subterranean termites because they can cause extensive damage to buildings in a short amount of time.
Homeowners need to take preventive measures that include sealing cracks, reducing contact with soil, and employing chemical treatment if present.
If you have noticed any of these pests inside your home, please call a qualified exterminator immediately because these pests need to be treated as quickly as possible.