The Formosan Termite

Your Chicagoland Guide on Formosan Termites

The Breakdown

COLOR

SIZE

LEGS

DANGER/DESTRUCTION RATING

Yellow/Brown

1/2 in

Six

HIGH

The Formosan Termite

Formosan termites are said to have originally come from East Asia and made their way to the United States in the 1940s. Throughout the years, the species have continued to spread, possibly from infested wooden railroad stakes. These pests are yellowish-brown, have six legs and measure about 1/2 an inch long.

Unlike Drywood termites that avoid soil, formosan termites prefer to nest within soil and get into wooden structures from the soil. Formosans consume wood but, uniquely, they get their moisture by making a carton they keep in their nest.

The reason why it is so important to get a Formosan infestation taken care of right away is because of their ability to reproduce quickly. A queen can produce more than a thousand eggs in one day. When the winged termites are released from their colony, they are on a mission to make new ones.

Signs of an Infestation

Formosan Termites can cause severe damage to the structure of your home. Just like many other termites, these pests will eat at the wood parts of your home. If you have an infestation, you may start to notice the wood structure of your home begin to sag. If the situation really gets out of hand, your home may even start falling to pieces. Other things you will notice are smooth sided galleries on wood pieces, which is what these termites leave behind when they consume the wood.

As these termites start to get comfortable, especially during late spring and early summer, you will begin to see swarms of winged termites called reproductives. They look very similar to winged ants, however formosan termites have straight antennae’s and waists, and their front and hind wings are also of equal length.

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Understanding the Seasons

Weather has a profound effect on pest life cycle. Most pests, rodents and insects breed aggressively during spring and go through periods of hibernation during autumn and winter.

When the weather slowly begins to heat up, pests start to get more active after having stayed dormant over the colder winter months.

  • Birds often start to find mates and start building their nests.
  • Moths which consumer leaves usually become active again.
  • Flies often emerge from their winter hibernation places and start to breed and spread out.
  • Squirrels also spend the winter in hibernation. When spring approaches these creatures start looking for a new home. This is usually the time when they make their way into lofts and other spaces.

Summer is arguably the best season for pests. It is the time when they are in full swing and breed as rapidly as they can. Wasps are one of the most common summer pests followed by flies and rodents. Many a summer picnics and BBQs have been ruined by the ‘home invasion’ of these pests.

  • Wasps build their nesting grounds and lay their eggs during this time. Although the creatures are not directly harmful, they can be very aggressive and territorial at this time of the year, because they’re at their strongest.
  • The number of fleas also multiplies. Since pets spend more time outdoors during summer, they are more likely to bring the pests back indoors with them.
  • Bees are also more active during summer as they go out to gather nectar. Many times, homeowners find a new beehive in their garden and require pest control to take care of it. Because of their sting, bees are more dangerous than some of the other pests and you should call our professional service to get rid of them.
  • Moths and flies usually start to multiply significantly during summer.
  • Ants begin to swarm to find new mates and start new colonies during summer.
  • Cockroaches become very noticeable in the summer, especially in the kitchen and toilets. This is due to the hotter temperatures and stronger smells.
  • Bedbugs are also very active in the summer.

Autumn is the month when things start to get cooler. The number of pests starts to dwindle as they begin to slow down their breeding activities.

  • Wasps start becoming dozy and docile. You may find them buzzing around occasionally as if they are drunk. This is usually the end-time for their life.
  • Spiders in particular are more active at this time of the year.
  • Squirrels will gather their food and start to look for shelter.
  • The second breeding phase for flies begins. These pests remain active during the season.
  • Rodents also become more active. Due to the approaching cold, rodents usually find shelter inside homes in the loft or inside walls.

The coldest months are when pests seek out warmth and shelter. You will find a number of insects especially rodents and lizards make their way inside your home.

  • Spiders come into our homes to escape the web-destroying frosts.
  • Rodents move indoors to escape the cold, increasing infestations.
  • In many cases, homeowners find squirrels nesting in lofts when they go to get their Christmas decorations.

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