Termite Identification – Corky’s Pest Control Services in San …

Posted: February 3, 2018 at 10:41 pm


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The Formosan termite is the most destructive type found in the United States. Some people call it the super termite because it has extremely large colonies and can do major amounts of damage in a relatively short period of time. The termite is native to the Pacific islands, and was most likely brought back to the U.S. on ships returning from World War II. It infests most of the southeastern states and has also been found in California.

There can be up to eight million Formosan termites in a single colonymuch larger than any other termite colony. The tunnels and tubes will branch out up to 300 feet in every direction, searching for wood to devour. They will eat anything containing celluloseplants, lumber and wood products, cardboard and paper, etc. They have been known to chew through foam, some thin metals, plaster, and even asphalt to reach food.

Formosan termites look just like any other subterranean termite, with the exception of the soldiers. They have a large, dark mandible (jaw) which can cross and form an x. Despite their fierce appearance, their bite is harmless to humans. A colony of Formosan termites will contain a larger number of soldiers than other types of termites.

The actual nests (called a carton after the hard chew-up material from which they are made) grow quite large and have a rock-like appearance. They must be located near a source of moistureplumbing or roof leaks, watered plants and landscaping, air conditioning condensation, areas where puddles form, etc. They can be in attics, walls, trees, or even underground.

1. Antenna- bead-like segments2. Eyes- compound3. Head- oval / rounded4. Legs- 65. Wings- on alates, 2 pair, longer than body6. Thorax-7. Petiole- none8. Abdomen- elongated9. Color- pale to brown10. Other- soldiers have mandibles

Thousands of Formosan termites will form swarms, usually in the evenings from April through July. These alates are attracted to lights, and then will find a mate. The new king and queen find crevices in wood to start a new colony. About 20-30 eggs are laid in chambers they create. In 2-4 weeks, the larvae hatch out and are fed by the king and queen. Formosan Termites have castesthe soldiers, workers, and reproductives. As the colony grows, reproductives lay more of the eggs, workers tend the eggs and search for food, and soldiers defend the colony. It takes 3-5 years for a colony to reach the large numbers of termites.

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Termite Identification – Corky’s Pest Control Services in San …

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