The Formosan subterranean termite attacks structural lumbers and living plants because they are sources of cellulose. These are made of carton, a hard material the workers make from soil, chewed wood or plant matter, and their own saliva and … This is the first report of naphthalene being associated with termites. 27-31. Because of its population size and foraging range, the presence of Formosan subterranean termite colonies poses serious threats to nearby structures. Photograph by Rudolf H. Scheffrahn, University of Florida. Formosan Termites have been found in tree trunks, logs, wooden beams, utility poles, piers, foam insulation, under porches and many other places where moisture is readily available. Formosan subterranean termites belong to the same family as native subterranean termites (Rhinotermitidae). Unlike most termites, which attack a structure from below, formosan termites will sometimes establish carton nests in gutters, roof eaves, or other areas that are typically protected from termites. 3-15. Once a Formosan colony is mature, the damage it can cause can be massive. The combination of an underground and aboveground nest can greatly increase the potential damage of these termites. Alates and soldiers are most useful for identification (Scheffrahn and Su 1994). Where there is ground contact, structural changes and or modification to eliminate moisture may be necessary, together with ground treatment as recommended for subterranean termites. However, identification only requires the study of the alates and soldiers. Sociobiology 41: 177-192. Su N-Y. CSIs do not kill termites immediately after bait consumption. Complete removal of the carton nest and then treatment using Bora Care, Optigard Flex, Termidor or Premise 2 should then be made to the entire area. However, this termite is also known to attack non-cellulose materials such as plaster, plastic, asphalt, and thin sheets of soft metal (lead or copper) in search of food and moisture. Swarms appear on warm … Formosan termite-produced carton nest in a wall. Known distribution of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, in Florida, as of 2019. than typical subterranean termites pictured on This species is believed to have originated from Eastern Asia, or more specifically, Taiwan and southern China. Winged formosan Termite Alates (swarmers) (left). Most of these nests are created within structures that the termites have hollowed out or used as a food source. This is another location where we found an even larger above ground carton nest. ), bifenthrin (Biflex® FT, etc. Figure 4. Alates, or swarmers, are about 5/16 inch (14-15mm) in overall length, including their wings. Like all termite species, Formosan Termites feed on wood and paper products due to the amount of cellulose these objects contain. The majority of the nestmates are workers that are responsible for acquisition of nutrients, i.e. The Formosan termite colonizes in the ground but also above ground in structures. As of 2019, Formosan subterranean termite is found in almost all major urban areas of Florida (Figure 3). Known distribution (between dotted yellow lines) of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, in the United States, as of 2016. Carton nest made from frass, soil, chewed wood and saliva, Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus. Photograph by Nan-Yao Su, University of Florida. 1998. Scheffrahn RH, Su N-Y. Their aerial nests are often found on the rooftops of buildings with a flat roof. 2003. Small hairs on wings of swarmers of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. Their carton nests are often found on the rooftops of buildings with flat roofs that collect water. Nests: Formosan termites usually build nests in the soil near a wood source, but aerial nests made of carton (chewed wood, soil, saliva and fecal material) are common if moisture is available. Mature colonies of Formosan Termites can have anywhere from 1-10 million termites within them. These include large swarms of alates in the Spring and Summer evenings, hollow sounding wood, mud tubes or carton nests inside walls. Su N-Y, Tamashiro M. 1987. Nests can be as large as several cubic feet. Carton may be papery and fragile, or woody and very hard. Preventive practice: Wood pressure-treated with preservatives (creosote, pentachlorophenol, inorganic salts such as alkaline copper quaternary or ACQ, etc.) Size - up to 3/4 inches long. They have been found as far north as Dallas, Texas as as far west as Southern California. Formosan termites hide in your wall studs and create large carton nests. This is how the termite spreads. There are termiticides and baits such as the Hex Pro Termite Baiting System have been successful at getting rid of Formosan Termites, as well as other termite species. The soldiers have white bodies and curved mandibles. Questions? Su N-Y, Scheffrahn RH. Termite baits such as Hex Pro Termite Baiting System that are being used to control termites have less chemicals than the other methods do, making them more consumer-friendly and a popular choice as well. However, they can also create above ground nests in structures they are infesting. Thus they … As with other termite species, colonies of Formosan subterranean termite contain three primary castes: the reproductives (e.g. During the 1960s it was found in Texas, Louisiana, and South Carolina. Figure 3. 1987. Formosan termites also can construct a carton which helps retain moisture in the nest. Formosan Termite Nest BartBruni 2020-02-16T22:56:01+00:00. The Formosan subterranean termite acquired its name because it was first described in Taiwan in the early 1900s, but Coptotermes formosanus is probably endemic to Taiwan and southern China. Formosan Termites are controlled by the same methods as Drywood Termites when they are in wood not in contact with the ground. are required by building codes for use at the point of wood-soil interface; primarily to prevent fungi decay. After a brief flight, alates shed their wings. Figure 6. Termites feed on the material and bring it back to their nests, where it acts as a slow-working poison than can kill an entire colony of Formosan termites. In urban southeastern Florida where the Formosan subterranean termite was first found, its distribution has expanded to include much of the costal areas of Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. They often swarm at night. In spring, winged Formosan termites leave their nests and fly to new locations to start new colonies. king, queen, alates or swarmers, and immature alates or nymphs), soldiers, and workers. Although their distribution in the United States is more restricted than other subterranean termites such as Reticulitermes species, Coptotermes formosanus can cause substantial economic loss in infested areas. By the 1950s, it was reported in South Africa. Their highly publicized ability to penetrate solid concrete is a fallacy. Soldiers of Formosan subterranean termite have an orange-brown, oval-shaped head, curved mandibles and a whitish body (Figure 6).
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