Formosan Termites in Florida!

Formosan Termites in Florida!

We have a saying here at Good News Pest Solutions. Okay, we have a few. But the important one today is this: There are two types of homes in Florida. Ones that are termite infested, and ones that aren’t – YET. Yes, that “yet” covers quite a bit of ground.

It can’t be helped. The same wonderful subtropical weather that brought hundreds, thousands, more than a million people to the Gulf Coast of Florida also attracts many different insects – and termites are the worst ones. Not to add insult to injury, but while termites are just about everywhere, in the Sunshine State we get the worst of the worst – Formosan termites. And they have been spotted!!!

These seriously destructive wood eaters are subterranean and originated, as far as we know, from China and Japan, back in the 1600s. They made their way to South Africa and Hawaii and likely flooded into Florida after World War II – although we can’t confirm any earlier than 1970 or so.

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What makes Formosan termites so dangerous is the size of their colonies and the impact they make on your home. Most termite colonies, whether subterranean or drywood, have a population that numbers in the thousands or maybe the hundred thousands. One Formosan termite colony contains millions.

Just imagine, you invite your family over for Thanksgiving dinner and a million or more siblings show up and start chowing down. No matter how big your turkey is, you are not going to have any leftovers. In this case, your home is the turkey – and before you can claim the drumstick, the Formosan termites have razed it to the bare bones.

In fact, Formosan termite colonies are so large and reproduce so efficiently, they can devour an entire house in a single year. Back in 2016, one colony was so large and active, it showed up on the weather radar.

And it’s not just your home at risk. Coptotermes formosanus can range up to 300 feet in the soil, easily reaching most of your neighbors, unless you live on a couple of acres of land. And entomologists from the University of Florida say once established, Formosan subterranean termites are never eradicated from an area.

What to Look For

As the name implies, Formosan subterranean termites operate largely underground. They expand their habitat by digging tunnels in the soil, tunneling up into homes with mud tubes. Once inside, they move into any wood they can reach and start gobbling away.

If you happen to see some bugs like our picture above, do not ignore them. There’s a slim chance they could be winged ants, but it’s more than likely a termite infestation. The winged termites – also called alates – are tan or brown, but can even get darker, almost black in appearance. Most subterranean termites have rectangular heads – Formosan termite heads tend to be more oval shaped. 

Most homeowners don’t notice the damage until the potential repair bill has reached thousands of dollars.

Keep an eye out for peeling paint where there’s no water damage, drooping or discolored drywall, or very small, pinpoint holes in drywall. Additionally, if you see mud tubes leading up to your home or discarded wings, call a professional.

An Ounce of Prevention

As we mentioned earlier, once established, Formosan termites are all but impossible to get rid of. In this case, a few dollars of prevention is worth several thousand in repair and refurbishment costs. Not to mention, most Florida homeowner’s insurances do not cover termite damage.

Again, every home in Florida deals with termites sooner or later. Now is your chance to get ahead of it. For just a small additional fee over our regular Go Green Perimeter Plus solution, you can get the best termite protection in the state – Term Assure 365.

Not only is your property protected from ants, beetles, roaches, silverfish and spiders, but it’s inspected for and prevented from termite infestation – 365 days a year. We will check your property for any signs of infestation, seal up any entry points for insects into your home, and place monitoring stations all around. Every time your home is serviced, we’ll check them for signs of a problem.

Not only that. We stand behind our solution and our highly-skilled field staff with a $1-million repair warranty, should termites do damage to your home. You can rest assured you’re in good hands.

For more details, or to schedule a visit to upgrade your service to Term Assure 365, please give us a call!

In honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting our country and our freedom, our office will be closed for Memorial Day, Monday, May 27th. We wish all of you a blessed weekend and hope you will take a moment to remember the holiday's true meaning.


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