All posts in “Formosan Termites”

Termite facts from NPMA – Termite Awareness Week

Termite Facts

  •       Termites are wood-destroying insects whose presence dates back to the dinosaurs.
  •        Termites are known as “silent destroyers” because of their ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected.
  •       There are about 2,000 known species of termites in the world.
  •       The most common termite species found in the United States are subterranean termites, Formosan termites, dampwood termites, drywood termites.
  •        Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive species of termite as they eat 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  •        Each year, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage.
  •    Termite colonies can have upwards of 2 million members.
  •        Termites are present in 70 percent of countries across the world and their population outnumbers human beings on a ratio of ten to one.
  •         The queen termite can lay up to 40,000 eggs per day.

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The Japanese, the bugs and me!

Maybe its because I had a chance to interact with Japan in my early days – I went to a BSA World Jamboree in 1972 and I feel close to their culture. I enjoyed the mulitple visits over the years and glad I was a part of possibly saving some of these hsitoric buildings.  But this got me to thinking as I watched the only sports that I watch throughout the year – The Little League World Series. The Japanese are very regimented in their training, style and honestly they are like a very well oiled clock. I have had the chance to work with many talented people from Japan in regards to termites. That same spark is there among 11 – 80 year old Japanese. I looked at temples and buildings that had termite damage and hoped that we could preserve those structures. Formosan termites are capable of doing some severe damage if not stopped. The great thing is that technology continues to work toward that goal and people around the world all must work together.


Here are just a few pictures of some of the work I looked at in Japan.

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Did you know that bugs have evolution on their side?

Today I was listening to NPR and Diane Rehm’s show on antibiotics “New efforts to curb the overuse of antibiotics in animals and people” and also ran into this article Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria on the Rise. It got me to thinking about how bugs have been around for a very long time probably older than 250 million years and their use of antibiotics. “Termites develop their own antibiotics”.

“Termites cause $40 billion in damage every year, worldwide, and researchers say the insects have developed an ingenious defense against pesticide: They make antibacterial nests out of their own poo.”

The article above goes into length about Formosan termites, located in Louisiana and surrounding areas with plenty of water. This abundance of water allows termites a greater chance to do damage and survive and puts the East Coast of the US in that very heavy chance of termites and damage. In Arizona this lack of water helps to keep the termites in check and limit extensive damage (I have seen some pretty bad damage but in general not often). This is the reason why Arizona is in that heavy infestation and also why the termite activity gains momentum during monsoon.






What do you know about Formosan Termites?

What do you know about Formosan Termites?   For example did you know, that they were probably transported into the U.S. from East Asian countries after World War II. The Formosan differs from native species in the fact they have huge colonies, maybe in the millions while Eastern Subterranean often have just a million and Arizona Western Subterranean often near 250,000. The East coast termites generally swarm in the Spring while the Western Sub species usually wait until monsoon to become more active. Formosans are just a little bit different in the fact that they are Subterranean but can bring mud up into a structure and live without going back to the ground. Our native termite in Arizona is not up to par with the Formosan in damage however it is still destructive and can cause significant damage if left alone. So what can you do to prevent Subterranean termites?

  • Don’t let them into your structure – a proper termiticide treatment will help with that. Since they live in the ground it is important to restrict them at ground level.
  • Stop the moisture especially around the foundation of your home.
  • Keep firewood stored above the ground and on some type of either rack or stone blocks.
  • Do not allow stucco to come in contact with stone or dirt, it blocks the view of your foundation.
  • Don’t allow wood to come in contact with soil, just another way for them to get into your home.
  • Last but not least an annual inspection by a Termite Company.


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