Good afternoon. This is Ben. So with Ben’s pest control and thank you for joining us for another episode of The Ben’s pest podcast. And today we’re going to talk to you about formosan termites. We live here on the Treasure Coast of Florida, and the Treasure Coast of Florida includes pretty much Port St. Lucie. Fort Pierce, Stewart, palm city, Jensen beach, I guess you could even say Vero Beach. And anyways formosan termites are present in our area. I can tell you from experience right here in Port St. Lucie, that in the last couple of years alone, we have seen evidence of them right around us one of prima VISTA areas. This year, we have found them off of the St. James areas just west of the river. And we’ve even had some reported signs of them. South of prima VISTA in the the area around the floresta drive areas, and they are around. And you might be wondering, Well, what makes formosan termites important? And maybe you’ve never heard of them. formosan termites are actually a species of subterranean termite, which most people in Florida are pretty familiar with. The thing is formosan termites are extremely aggressive. And they do a lot more damage, and they are much harder to control. So one of the things that that you might say is, well, how will I know if I have formosan termites formosan. termites are about 5/16 of an inch. And normally like a brownish yellow in color. The swarmers that we found this year are reddish to brown in color. And normally what we find is we find people who have them in their houses end up with a lot of damage and damage that quickly spreads from the ground all the way up to the ceiling. We saw a house just this past week. And they had a wood pillar in the front of their house and the damage was up probably 12 feet in the air. And the gentleman does not believe he had them as far back as last year. And they already were up that high. And then in his bathroom in his house. They were in the ceiling above his shower already. And they were they were pretty aggressive and going crazy. Now, one of the things that’s very easy with termites is it’s very easy to get confused because not only are we in termite swarm season, we’re also an ant swarm season. So this is not necessarily always 100% because people can’t always tell the difference. But when the bugs are swarming, one of the ways I tell people that’s easiest to identify normally between a termite and an ant is ants usually have pinched waist. So when you’re looking at the swarmer with the wings, and you’re looking at it, usually ants are gonna have a very defined waist ants will also have a three segmented body where termites only have two. So that are those are the easiest ways to identify based on the swarmers. Now the formosan termites date back to the early 1900s in Taiwan, and they have been found as far back as 1905 in Hawaii, and they were discovered in the United States, the continental United States in 1956. In Florida, I can tell you, we have them from all the way down in Hialeah, Miami, which is where some of the first cases were found up to the Treasure Coast here and they’re expanding north. I know when I worked in Orlando, there were cases in Pine, pine hills. So they are somewhat spread out. And I know they’re found in other areas of Florida, but since then they’ve actually spread out through a lot of the southern states. They’ve been far found as far north as Tennessee, North Carolina. They’ve been found in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas. Of those states, Louisiana is probably one of the more interesting ones because the French Quarter in historically has had a terrible problem with them. So some of the things you should know about them is that they live in huge underground colonies with an average of 350,000 workers. They invade structures using mud tubes constructed from the soil to the wood. These insects are also able to construct secondary curtain nests above ground if moisture is available. So if you have a shower and they’re in the shower and there’s water in that shower, they can use that moisture to create an above ground colony and they can actually cut themselves off from the soil. So
it’s it’s a very important part of Knowing what you’re battling the formosan termite queens can produce more than 1000 eggs per day. And that’s an amazing number. And when us formosan colony swarms, they can release as many as 70,000 swarmers. That is a lot of flying bugs flying around. Now, they’re a major threat because of their aggressive nature. formosan termites are difficult to control once they infest the structure. Although colonies of several million termites are known and mature for most colony can eat are 31 grams, or one plus ounce of wood a day. And at that rate, they consume one foot of two by four and 25 days. And they’re been known to cause extreme structural damage. In addition to structures, they’ve also been found in living trees, shrubs, utility poles, landscape timbers, railroad trusses, boats, they’ll chew through coverings and electrical cable, they are an extremely aggressive termite. Now, one of the reasons I’m mentioning them to you is because it is very important that if you had the opportunity to take a more proactive approach, and have your house treated, have your house inspected, you want to make sure that you’re covered before these things get established. These are real destructive termite and the amount of damage that they do, it can absolutely blow people away. And if you do something prior, hopefully you don’t have to worry about it. If you wait till the last minute, you you end up hoping that you can contain the problem. And some people have had to, in some cases go as far as not just doing a liquid treatment, which is the normal course of action for subterranean termites. But because of their ability to build an aerial colony above ground, some people have actually had to go to the extent of not just doing the liquid, but doing a fumigation and having their structure fumigated to try to make sure that wherever that above ground colony is, that colony, hopefully gets eradicated also. So it’s it can also be an extremely expensive thing to, to address. And I would tell you this, you know, it, when it comes to these, it’s, it’s extremely important that you, you hopefully have somebody with experience that is out there, protecting you, and hopefully somebody that you feel comfortable with, I can tell you that. In my experience there, there are companies who will go out and do treatments at a specific label rate for subterranean termites. And with some of our clients that we have found these at, we use the product termidor. And when we use it, when we know we’re addressing formosan termites, we personally try to use it at the highest level rate, we can we make sure that we are getting as quick of a resolution to the problem as possible. And though most homeowners think that’s just a logical thing, and they expect that their company is hopefully going to do that, you should never assume there are a lot of companies and a lot of places out there that will just go out and treat at at rate a and not necessarily maybe they don’t know what kind of termites are dealing with. But if they do know what kind of termites they’re hoping that rate a will take care of it. And if rate a doesn’t take care of it, the termites are continuing to damage your house while you’re waiting for control to be achieved. And as we talked about, add a footer to buy for every 25 days. As a homeowner, there should be zero patience for when control is achieved. You want it achieved quickly. You want to achieve efficiently, and you want to make sure that you know the company is is there. And following up and making sure that the treatment they did has hopefully eradicated them from your house because of the the damage they do. One of the more interesting little facts I tell people about formosan is that there have been research done that they can actually secrete an acid out of a follicle in their head to break down cement to get to food. It is one of the craziest things that I’ve seen in my 27 years of experience. And I To this day, when I tell people it’s kind of crazy. It seems to me that that can happen. It seems like something you’d see in one of those bug movies. It’s really like oh my gosh. But anyways, if you have any questions or if you’d like a free inspection, please give us a call. Our number is 772-878-1972 or you can check out our website at www dot Ben’s pest stop is we are here to help any way we can and thank you and have a great day.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai