Formosan Termite History
According to The University of Florida IFAS/Extension: The Formosan subterranean termite acquired its name because it was first described in Taiwan in the early 1900s, then this destructive species was apparently transported to Japan prior to the 1600s and to Hawaii in the late 1800’s. By the 1950s, it was reported in South Africa. During the 1960s it was found in Texas, Louisiana, and South Carolina. In 1980, a well-established colony was thriving in a condominium in Hallandale, Florida. A single colony of these subterranean termites may contain several million termites (versus several hundred thousand termites for native subterranean termite species) that forage up to 300 ft in soil. Because of its population size and foraging range, the presence of Formosan subterranean termite colonies poses serious threats to nearby structures. Once established, Formosan subterranean termite has never been eradicated from an area.
The Formosan subterranean termite generally invades structures from the ground. They commonly enter through expansion joints, cracks, and utility conduits in slabs. Any wood-to-ground contact is an inviting entrance for Formosan subterranean termite infestations. On some occasions, however, Formosan subterranean termite can form colonies that are not connected to ground, called aerial colonies. If a pair of alates successfully finds suitable conditions, i.e., adequate food and moisture sources in a building, they can initiate a colony with no ground connection. The flat roofs of high-rise buildings, because they always pool rainwater, are ideal places for the subterranean termite to initiate aerial infestations if portals of entry are found.
Studies also found that Formosan subterranean termites attack many species of living plants. The subterranean termite attacks structural lumbers and living plants because they are sources of cellulose. 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. Their highly publicized ability to penetrate solid concrete is a fallacy. However, the termite is persistent in finding small cracks in concrete, which they enlarge and use as foraging routes.
One way to treat Formosan Termites is with The Sentricon® Always Acitve baiting system. The Sentricon® Termite System takes advantage of natural termite behavior. Worker termites constantly forage far and wide, looking for wood to feed their colony. When they find food, like the monitoring device in a Sentricon® station, they leave special scent trails to summon their nestmates to the food source.