The Truth About Formosan Termites
When it comes to termite infestations most people blame subterranean termites, dampwood termites and drywood termites. There is no fault in assigning blame to these particular termites since these three termites do, indeed, cause a significant amount of property damage within the United States. However, many people forget about another type of aggressive termite, which is known as the Formosan termite. Many Americans disregard the threat posed by Formosan termites since it is traditionally believed that Formosan termites only infest areas within the state of Louisiana, and many entomologists will make similar claims. Then again, this is not necessarily true according to termite related data collected during recent years. The truth is that Formosan termite activity is not just limited to the state of Louisiana.
There is no doubt that Formosan termites are most active in Louisiana. Formosan termites cause three hundred million dollars in damages within the state of Louisiana each year, but studies show that Formosan termites are migrating in all directions within the United States. Researchers have discovered Formosan termites in eleven states, and it is likely that these termites are active in even more states. Formosan termites are often referred to as “super termites”. This nickname seems fitting since Formosan termite damage is often more extensive that other forms of damage caused by subterranean and drywood termites. Not only that, but Formosan termites reproduce rapidly, and as a result their population numbers are relatively high.
Recent damage resulting from Formosan termite activity across several states has been estimated to be as high two billion dollars per year. This number dwarfs the cost of damage caused by all other American termites combined. Formosan termites have established sizable colonies ranging from Florida to California. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Formosan termites are the most voracious eaters of all known types of termites in the world. This is due to the size of their colonies, which can include millions of termites, whereas other problematic termite colonies include only thousands of termites. Formosan termites consume a staggering one thousand pounds of wood each year, but other termites can only manage to consume around seven pounds of wood each year. Who knows? Maybe in the future Formosan termites will have spread across the continental United States.
Do you consider Formosan termites to be a problem where you live?