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What Every Crestview Homeowner Should Know About Formosan Termites

July 15, 2022 - Termites

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Another sweltering humid summer is upon us here in Crestview, FL. While we take refuge from the sun in our cool houses, we might be surprised that we’re not alone. Formosan termites are unwanted visitors that are busiest in the spring and summer months. Crestview pest control specialists know that these infestations often go unnoticed until they’ve already done substantial damage to your property’s wood.

What Do Formosan Termites Look Like?

There are three different kinds of termites in every colony: soldiers, workers, and swarmers. Formosan termite identification is easiest with the soldiers. These will have:

  • A big popcorn-kernel-shaped orange head
  • Dark black pincers
  • A light-orange or translucent body
  • Two antennae

These soldiers will be larger than the workers. Workers will have a translucent body and head. Swarmers are the termites responsible for reproduction. You will see these busy around dusk when they swarm and shed their wings before copulating. It can be difficult to find signs of termites, but swarmers could be a clear indication of an infestation.

Where Do Formosan Termites Live?

These insects are known for burrowing into wood and creating tunnels. But they don’t just live in your walls. Formosan termites come from underground, finding passages that touch wood. When they get into the wood, they store moisture in their networks of tunnels. This can cause water damage on top of the gutted wood damage. 

This storage of moisture makes them unique because they can then live in the wood they eat away. Aside from their subterranean origin, Formosan termites can be found living in:

  • Wooden support beams
  • Walls
  • Floors
  • Narrow mud tunnels in the soil near house foundations

To check for evidence of termite damage in the wood of your house, you can knock on sections to hear if the wood sounds hollow. Another giveaway is moisture in the paint or wood. Bubbling paint could mean they’re stockpiling moisture in hidden tunnels.

Formosan Termites Vs. Subterranean Termites: Key Differences

While there is another species of termite commonly known as the subterranean termite, Formosan termites also live underground. The difference here is that Formosan termites can also live in the wood because of their ability to store moisture. 

Formosan termites also look different than subterranean termites. To tell the difference, Formosan soldier termites:

  • Have a longer body
  • Have a shorter head
  • Have shorter pincers
  • Are orange, while the subterranean soldier termites are gray or brown

In addition, Formosan workers are bigger than subterranean workers. Both types can be found in Florida, so if you aren’t fully certain what type of termite you’re dealing with, we at Cadenhead Services Pest Control can help identify them. 

The Best Way To Get Rid Of Formosan Termites In Crestview

Normally, when you discover termites on your property, it means their colony is already substantial and they will most likely be in your house. Ways to get rid of house termites include:

  • Use non-repellent termiticide in the soil around the house.
  • Use repellent termiticide in the hollowed-out sections of wood where they reside.
  • Bait them with traps.
  • Dig a 6-inch trench to separate the soil from wood sections.
  • Treat this trench with non-repellent termiticide.
  • Fumigate after the soil has already been treated.

Termiticides can be repellent and non-repellent and should be safely and properly applied by licensed pest control professionals. Termite treatments in the house are different than termite treatments in the soil. Using non-repellent termiticide in the soil allows the termites to unknowingly pick up the poison. Repellent termiticides can be sprayed into hollows to kill them or scare them out of the house. When infestations are too big to handle, fumigation will be a last resort. Fumigating a house will scare them back to the soil, so treating the escape route is necessary, too.

We at Cadenhead Services Pest Control know that Formosan termites are a tricky pest to get rid of. With professional certification in entomology and two generations of family-run service in the Crestview area, we know we can get any pest under control. Don’t wait to contact us if you suspect a termite infestation.