Termites are a particularly annoying and dangerous pest to deal with. One thing that is so irritating about them is that unlike many pests which are much larger, they can easily cause structural damage to a wooden building. The worst part is that you might not notice that it’s happening until it’s too late.
However, one thing about termites that people have come to expect is that removing them usually means they won’t return unless you are very lax with preventative measures.
There is, however, a species of termite that this doesn’t apply to – the Formosan termite, which is now threatening homes in in several regions of the country. In this article, we’ll take a look at what makes this termite so difficult to get rid of.
Damage caused by Formosan termites
It is estimated that Formosan termites alone cause around 100 million dollars of damage every year in warm, humid locations like ours. In one frustrating case, a homeowner dealt with three separate infestations that occurred one after the other; spreading from a windowsill to underneath the baseboards of almost the entire house’s ground floor.
This isn’t an uncommon story where Formosan termites are concerned, as they are able to spread fast and far throughout a home or region. Once an infestation has occurred, it is incredibly difficult to completely remove them. This isn’t to say that it is impossible – just that it is a whole lot better to prevent them from ever getting inside your home in the first place if you can.
Where do Formosans thrive?
Formosan termites are an invasive species in the Carolinas, the Gulf South, and similar regions which landed in the United States in the 1950s. They were accidentally brought in shipping containers from Asia.
Formosan termites are incredibly hardy, and they can thrive anywhere that is moist, dark, and vaguely woody. They can live on the cellulose in soil, but they greatly prefer wood for its nutritional value to them.
Termites of all kinds thrive in situations where wood meets soil or other wood, and which are dark and moist. This means they scout out basements, crawlspaces, windowsills, and anywhere with stagnant air, a lack of light, and a potential connection to the soil are present.
What to look for
Formosan termites can be difficult to detect and even more difficult to get rid of. However, they can be identified by the fine grain like powder they leave behind as they mine through the wood in their straw-like tunnels.
Additionally, if a house nearby has been infested, it is highly likely that yours might be dealing with an infestation, too. Formosan termites are incredibly resilient and as if their species weren’t annoying enough, they can fly to travel to new places.
Once they have been established somewhere, their colonies spawn queens who lay around two thousand eggs per day. Congrats, Queen Mother, it’s a bouncing baby infestation!
Termite prevention often relies on treating wood with chemicals that kill termites or drive them off somehow. Conversations are ongoing about the complete environmental impact of this practice, but it is one of the only effective methods of preventing Formosan termites.
Besides requiring careful handling, these treatments require a lot of planning and set up, and involve drilling into baseboards in order to create barriers against termite invasion. Due to the difficulty, not to mention the possible destruction of your home if this treatment is applied incorrectly, it is much better to leave this sort of thing to the professionals.
Formosan termites might be scary, but there are definitely things you can do to prevent them from infesting your home. If you live in an area where Formosan termites are active, you can start working on preventative measures now. Contact the termite professionals at Dugas Pest Control today for an inspection, and keep your home the safe place it is for you and your family!