Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    4,112

    Default Formosan termites

    Formosan termites have been reported recently in the area nearby. What general knowledge can the pest control guys impart to the generalist inspectors among us?
    I am used to sharing precautions to my clients about common subterranean termites and carpenter ants, but are there any differences that I should know about.
    I heard on the evening news that a local pest control company identified and reported Formosan termites to Texas A&M.
    I understand they are more destructive, but what can the average homeowner what for, the don't use tunnels, right?
    Thanks, Jim

    Similar Threads:
    F.I.R.E. Services
    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Treasure Coast
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Formosan termites have been reported recently in the area nearby. What general knowledge can the pest control guys impart to the generalist inspectors among us?
    I am used to sharing precautions to my clients about common subterranean termites and carpenter ants, but are there any differences that I should know about.
    I heard on the evening news that a local pest control company identified and reported Formosan termites to Texas A&M.
    I understand they are more destructive, but what can the average homeowner what for, the don't use tunnels, right?
    Thanks, Jim
    Jerry would probably be best to answer this as he has had his PC license until recently.

    Formosan termites are an offshoot of Subterranean termites. They are far more destructive and have more members of the colony. They are also very hard to get rid of.

    From what I remember from years back, you have to treat the soil with double the strength of a Subterranean termite treatment and fumigate the property with 4 times the amount of Vikane gas. Also, all of the damage must be removed.

    The Formosans leave behind "Carton" when they are done.

    I recall selling one of those jobs a long time ago. After we had to re-treat the house three times, the company refunded all of the fees and told the owners, find someone else.

    Some links for you:

    The Formosan Termite A Formidable Foe!
    Formosan Subterranean Termite
    Formosan Subterranean Termite
    Formosan Subterranean Termites
    TAMU- Formosan Subterranean Termites

    Eric Van De Ven Magnum Inspections Inc. (772) 214-9929
    www.magnuminspections.com
    I still get paid to be suspicious when I got nothing to be suspicious about!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Posts
    613

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    They are as far south as Rockport at the last report I got.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    Jim,

    I've been in the termite business 20+ years now, and I've yet to ever run across Formosan termites here in our area.

    There was supposedly a case here in Rockwall a few years ago.

    The only time I have ever seen them was about 15 years ago while visiting St. John's in the Virgin Islands.

    Actually, the subterranean termite activity has slowed down in the area here the last few years. I think it is more weather related. I don't think the chemicals or the baits is knocking them out altogether.

    I've seen more of a increase in powder post beetles which is a more trouble to eradicate.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,829

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    Formosan termites are subterrain termites on steroids. They can live like drywoods or subterrain. If they were in my area I would get out of the termite clearance letter business in a blink of an eye!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Posts
    613

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    Hey Rick,
    I think we may use the same barber. I get mine cut the same way. I got tired of it hanging in my face, so now I have them cut it way back.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  7. #7
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    I had read somewhere that all the trees that were shreaded from being knocked over during Katrina, had the bark and remnants sold all around the country.
    PROBLEM WAS.... FRIGGIN FORMOSIAN TERMITES WERE STILL IN THE SHREADINGS AND DISTRIBUTED ALL OVER THE COUNTRY.... YIKES!!

    RIchard (Just another 'Dick') Rushing


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Posts
    613

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    I read a local article on that from the Orange Box aying beware of where you buy mulch.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,317

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    Here is the main difference between Formosan termites and regular Southeastern subterranean termites (as I remember it from many years ago).

    Each regular old Southeastern subterranean termite actually eats more than each Formosan termite.

    A regular Southeastern subterranean termite colony typically averages around 50,000-100,000 termites, however, a typical Formosan termite colony averages around 500,000-1,000,000 termites. Thus, while each Formosan may eat less, there is a ratio of 10:1, so the colony as a whole devours wood at a much faster rate.

    They both take the same termiticide, at the same strength, however, the likelihood of getting the typical Southeastern sub colony is much higher than actually getting the typical Formosan colony, partially because of size of the colony and that the Formosans spread out over a larger area, making the colony harder to kill.

    And, no, Formosan termites do not each concrete block, metal, or any of those other things attributed to them. They just eat a lot of wood, real quick.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    I remember talking to a man in St. John's that owned a home there said it was cheaper just to repair the wood they ate compared to the cost of treatment which didn't last long.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Garland, TX
    Posts
    605

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    Subs using spider web as a ladder (last pix)

    Does this show signs of tool usage intelligence?

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    Barry,

    Was that home by chance in Irving?

    I inspected one last month that was almost identical to your pictures. Thought maybe the deal fell through on it.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Garland, TX
    Posts
    605

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Barry,

    Was that home by chance in Irving?

    I inspected one last month that was almost identical to your pictures. Thought maybe the deal fell through on it.
    Yaaaa Buddy,
    Mine was the 3rd report, still no treatment
    4closed on Shumard

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    Barry,

    Does this look familiar?

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Garland, TX
    Posts
    605

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    Rick,

    Sorry for the late reply.
    Biz-B-Good!

    Do you have some bird dog in ya?

    threw down the scent and you're right on it

    this may go as low as 250,000 before she's done, i see they dropped the price again

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    Barry,

    I know the feeling. We've been busier than a 1-armed paper hanger.

    Those foundations out there in Irving are something to see aren't they. I was under one the other day over there in Hackberry area that the foundation looked like some of the bridge supports on the GW turnpike.

    A excess of big foreclosures in that area.


  17. #17
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    Biz-B beddy-beddy-gud.

    Everything I see in Irving is in need of treatment... the little buggers are out everywhere this year because of all the rain.

    Rich


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    Formosan termites are largert than typical subterranean termites and a lot more agressive. When i did termite inspections about 8 years ago I came across them quite a bit. I remember opening up a tub under a house. They do not run and hide like subterranean termites. I am told that they shoot an acid out thogh their antennae, and that is what gives them the appearance of eating though concrete and the cmenicals put down. They can also live as either subterranea or drywood termites, which makes them especiallly difficult to extermiate, or control. I have seen them eat a window frame out in 6 months time period. They are very very expensive to treat due to the amount of chemical needed and maintenance can be expensive also, as can make their way back though the chemical over time.

    Bill Siegel
    Florida Home Inspection Team Inc.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,317

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    On a related issue, still termites, ...

    Borate treated wood, that's the (it seems) preferred treatment method nowadays.

    There is a BIG problem with Borate treated wood, though.

    I recently read a study done by UF (University of Florida) researchers on Borate treated wood and termites - is it an effective treatment and does it repel termites (as many claim).

    Is it an effective treatment? Let's address the other question first ...

    Does it repel termites?

    - The most common emulsifier carrier used to get the Borate into the wood is very prone to pulling moisture out of the air. Thus, when two identical pieces of wood, one treated and one untreated, are placed in a box with termites, the termites actually seem to PREFER the Borate treated wood, if only because the emulsifier brings more moisture into the wood (and termites prefer moist wood over dry wood).

    - Also, with just spraying the Borate and emulsifier on wood, as done during treatments done in the field, the penetration of the Borate solution barely penetrates beyond the surface, maybe a millimeter or two, less than 1/16". The termites then attach and eat the treated wood (the surface of the wood is all that is treated) and keep eating the wood. Now, though, an interesting thing happens - those termites die from the Borate treatment.

    - Okay, *IF* there were no more termites, the Borate treated wood would be protected, however, in real life, there are many, many, many more termites, and those other termites are still eating the wood, and the Borate treatment has been eaten away by the first sacrificial few termites. The researchers are pretty sure that a colony could, would, sacrifice a few worker to expose untreated wood - it the law of nature and survival of the fittest, sacrifice a few for the good of the whole.

    Okay, now back to the first question: Is it an effective treatment?

    Gosh, I think I've already answered that.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Posts
    613

    Default Re: Formosan termites

    I thought this was a pretty good article.

    TAMU- Formosan Subterranean Termites

    And for any who may be interested

    62nd Annual Pest Management Conference & Workshop

    Last edited by Thom Walker; 06-16-2007 at 07:05 PM. Reason: Additional info
    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  21. #21
    Jonathan Cartwright's Avatar
    Jonathan Cartwright Guest

    Smile Re: Formosan termites

    I am a termite guy but by no means an expert.

    To my knowledge the Formosan termites are just like the other "subs" in that the workers - the largest component of the colony - are dependant on the colony for survival. Individual workers excavate wood for food however they gain no nutritional value from the wood that they excavate. They feed by "trofalaxis" (not sure of spelling) wherby the excrement of the worker is fed to other workers - the wood has been "processed" by protozoa in the termites gut and that is the food that sustains them. Pheremones excreted by the queen allow communication within the colony that cause all colony activity, including feeding.

    Receiving Formosan workers in processed and packaged mulch would not likely result in significant damage or the growth of new colonies due to the workers being separated from their colony. Also, as others have stated on this thread it is unlikely that significant numbers of the termites would survive in the mulch bags. If a queen and an some workers/males were sent somewhere intact then you may have a problem.

    Keep in mind however that when dealing with biologic organisims, especially insects as they are particularly adaptable to many environmental changes, they do not always react as we think they should - anything can happen.

    Lucky for me, we do not have Formosans in the Truckee Meadows area.

    Good Hunting.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •