The feared Formosan subterranean termite’s bite is certainly an economic one: Experts say damage from the termite is upward of $1 billion a year.
Colonies of Formosan termites are gigantic, with as many as 5 million individuals, which gives them the ability to destroy wood at a much faster rate than the Eastern subterranean termite. They’ve recently been causing big problems for homeowners in the Florida Panhandle.
They swarm from April until July, usually until dusk, and build their nests in the soil or in structures, such as wood homes.
Wood products infested by the Formosan termite may be detected by tapping the wood with a hard object. In severe infestations, the wood may be hollowed out; leaving a paper-thin surface that appears blistered or peeled.
Their nest material is made of termite excrement, chewed wood and soil and can often be found in structural voids, such as gaps between walls or beneath sinks.
University of Florida entomologist Dr. Nan Yao-Su helped create the Sentricon termite baiting system, one of the most used to help fight the Formosan subterranean termite.
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