How to Get Rid of Formosan Termites

Formosan Termite Swam Pest Control


Termites live in a colony which means that they are a social insect. Social insects have a division of labor called castes. There are 3 different common types of termites: Subterranean, Formosan, and Drywood Termites.

Formosan termites are 1/2′ long and have wings. They are yellow to brownish yellow. Formosan termites build their colonies underground and they work underground. They will tunnel through the dirt and tunnel through the wood in the foundation of the house. Formosan termites do not need to maintain contact with the soil to survive and they will mostly be seen during warm and rainy days around dusk and into the evening. Formosan termites use food particles and their feces to help construct their tunnels. They also build a secondary nest above the ground called aeria colonies only if there is a moisture source available. Formosan termites are attracted to light. Formosan termites eat wood and other materials that have cellulose such as paper, fiberboard, and some fabrics that are made from cotton or plant fibers. These termites can eat up to 1ft of wood. Formosan termites can be the most destructive out of all the termites.

Many times termites are often confused as ants. The difference between termites and ants are:

  1. Termites antennae are straight while ants are elbowed
  2. Termites have 2 pairs of wings that are in equal length and size, while ants have 2 pairs of wings unequal in length and size.
  3. Termites waists are thick and broad and ants are narrow and thin.

Moisture is essential to termite survival. Since moisture is so essential they will construct mud tubes that will cover the exposed areas. Termites will move up and down the soil to accumulate for their moisture needs. Termites prefer decaying wood because it can be eaten faster and it increases the moisture content.


Formosan Termites can be found at or near ground level. You can find infestation usually above the level of the first-floor windows. Examine thoroughly in crawl spaces and basement walls, supporting piers and beams, sill plates, floor joists, subfloors.

Pay special attention to areas where concrete steps, porches, or concrete slabs comes together with the structure. If you find wooden dust around the walls or window/door frames, patio area then it is also a sign of termite infestation. Also swarmer termites will shed their wings so if you see large number of shredded wings then it is also a sign of infestation.

Holes inside the wood are not visible so you can just tap on the wood with your knuckles or a small hammer to hear a hollow sound because the damage wood by termites looks like regular water damage. The type of soil is important on how infested termites can be. They prefer sandy soil however they can survive in many different types of soil as well.


The main reason on why structures get infested with termites is because the wood is often in contact with the ground. When the wood has contact with the soil it supplies the termites with food, shelter, moisture, and entry into the home which is often hard to know.

The exterior wood should at least be 6′ above the ground level and may require in pulling the soil or mulch away from the structure to prevent wood to ground contact. If there is wood in your crawlspace, make sure that it is at least 18′ from the ground. Doors, stair carriages, posts, etc, and anything that is made out of wood will need to be cut off at the bottom to be supported by a concrete base. If it is unavoidable then you should treat the wood with preservation.

Termites can build tunnels over the wood surface. You should not bury wood, cardboard, paper, or any other cellulose materials because they will attract termites. Mulch and wooden chips can also attract termites because it will give them a food source and a favorable moisture conditions.

If you have to use mulch, do not apply them in contact with the foundation. Stack wooden materials, and firewood away from the structure and elevated from the ground. Vegetation should not be allowed to grow against the side of the structure because it traps moisture causing wood decay. Soil should be sloping so that the water can be drain away from the home.

Plumbing and appliance leaks can lead to damp wood in crawlspaces. You should repair leaks right away and you can place polyethylene sheeting which acts a moisture barrier over the soil in the crawlspace to reduce evaporation from the soil and condensation from the structure woods.

Ventilation vents can help reduce moisture problems dramatically. Crawl spaces should have ventilating opening around your home at every 2 sq ft per 25 linear ft of the foundation wall. One of the vents will need to be within 5 ft of each exterior corner of the building.

There are two types of ways to treat termites, but these are not the only ways just the most common. These types are: soil treatment where you will dig a trench and treat the soil also to drill a hole into the structure and apply the termiticides and bait this treatment is where you place wood bait inside a termite monitoring station and burying the station under ground.

Soil Treatment:
This treatment, you will need to treat the soil underneath you home and around the structure. We suggest that you use liquid spray (TERMIDOR SC, BORACARE TERMITE, PREMISE 2 TERMITICIDE,  Dominion 2L) using a hand spray.

You should start treating from outside in, because the termites come from the outside, dig a trench at least 6′ deep and 6′ wide all around your structure and apply the liquid spray using the amount instructed on the label at a rate of 4 gallons per 10 linear ft. You will also need to drill a hole on wall and on the sidewalk where it meets the structure if it is necessary and inject the liquid pray using the amount instructed on the label.

When the termites are already inside your home you will need to exterminate them to stop more severe damage. So you will need to drill a hole into the wall near the infested area and apply foam (CB D-FOAM, PREMISE FOAM TERMITICIDE) or liquid spray into the drilled hole. Be cautious when you are applying the liquid spray inside the home because some of the termiticide is labeled only for outdoor use.

Termidor SC Boracare Premise 2 Dominion 2L

These products can be used with this item:

Chapin 1 gallon Sprayer
CB 80 Premise Foam

Bait Treatment:
As already stated above this treatment is where you will place a wooden bait (FIRSTLINE TERMITE  REPLACEMENT WOOD, ADVANCE TERMITE MONITORING BASE , ADVANCE TERMITE INSPECTION CARTRIDGE) inside a termite monitoring station and bury the station (ADVANCE TERMITE BAIT STATION, FIRSTLINE  TERMITE BAIT STATION ) around the structure.

You will need to place the monitoring stations 3-4 ft apart from the structure and 10-15 ft apart from each station. Once it has been installed, make sure to check each station every 3 months (90 days) and if there is termite activity at the station, you will need to replace the wooden bait with a chemical cartridge (ADVANCE TERMITE BAIT CARTRIDGES, FIRSTLINE GT PLUS TERMITE BAIT STATIONS) which can eliminate the termites. Repeat this process continuously.

Firstline Termite Defense Advance Termite Monitoring Base Advance Termite Inspection

These products can be used with these items:

Advance Termite Monitor Bait Firstline Smartdisc

These products can be used with these items after finding active termite activity:

Advance Termite Bait Firstline GT Plus

Date: Monday, 11. January 2010 13:05
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