When homeowners hear the word termite they often break into a sweat, and rightfully so. Termite damage can cost thousands of dollars. In some cases, homes are demolished because the termite damage is so extensive. Also, the damage by termites is typically not covered by homeowner’s insurance.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. residents spend at least $1 billion on Formosan termite control and repairs each year. Some experts estimate the number is closer to $2 billion.
The Formosan subterranean termite is an invasive species of termite.
The Formosan termite was described from Taiwan (Formosa) in the early 1900s, but is native to southern China.
They are found in many states across the southern U.S., including Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Smaller populations of Formosan termites have also been discovered as far north as the Canadian border.
A mature Formosan termite colony can eat about 31 grams or 1+ ounce per day. At this rate, such a colony could completely consume one foot of 2X4 wood in 25 days – causing severe structural damage to a home in as little as six months.
They commonly enter through expansion joints, cracks, crevices and utility conduits in slabs. Any wood-to-ground contact is an arrival invitation for Formosan subterranean termite infestations. In some occasions, however, Formosan subterranean termite can form colonies that are not connected to ground, called aerial colonies.
In addition to structures, Formosans infest living trees and shrubs, utility poles, landscape timbers, wooden railroad trusses and even boats. However, this termite is also known to attack non-cellulose materials such as plastic, plaster, asphalt, and thin sheets of soft metal (lead or copper) in search of food and moisture. They are also known to chew through the coverings of telephone and electric cable insulation, resulting in costly damage and power outages in cities.
Of course, termites cannot digest plastic, but Formosan subterranean termites will easily penetrate PVC plastic if it means reaching food. Not only have Formosan termites broken underground plastic water pipes, causing shut-downs in water service, but they have also destroyed electrical wires within PVC pipes, resulting in power outages.
In the city of New Orleans where this termite species was introduced in the 1950’s, the control and repair costs due to Formosan subterranean termite are estimated at $300 million annually (Suszkiw 1998). It is considered the single most economically important insect pest in the state of Hawaii.
Recent news reported are:
Destructive ‘super-termites’ discovered in Israel for the first time
The termite “destroys railroad tracks, telephone poles…and underground electricity lines causing power outages,” said Dr. Gilad Ben Tzvi.
By Eve Young
September 23, 2020
Formosan “super-termites,” known as the “most damaging termites in the world,” were identified in Israel for the first time on Wednesday.
The termites were discovered in Petah Tikva by termite expert Tomer Low, who reported the finding to the Environmental Protection Ministry’s Pest-Control and Pesticides department.
Termites are known for their ability to cause extensive damage that can result in high costs for extermination and repairs. More than a billion dollars in damage is caused by termites each year in the USA alone, according to NPR.
Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel said that “invasive species present a serious threat to public health, the environment and the economy. Termites especially may cause great damage to property and infrastructure.” She went on to say that as climate change worsens there will be an increase in the amount of invasive species in Israel.
The Ministry has set up a termite task force to work on finding an extermination method and to advise local authorities and exterminators. The task force includes representatives from the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, alongside exterminations experts and academics.
Destructive ‘super-termites’ discovered in La Mesa
‘Super-termites’ discovered in La Mesa
Amanda Brandeis, ABC10.com │August 13, 2018
SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Homeowners in La Mesa are being warned their houses could be at risk of a destructive pest: Formosan subterranean termites.
San Diego-based company Thrasher Termite & Pest Control made the unfortunate discovery this month in a La Mesa home.
They’re deemed “super-termites” due to enormous colonies up to two million strong. The pests can cause significant structural damage within six months unlike traditional dry-wood termites, which take 10-15 years to do similar damage.
The invasive species of termites was first discovered in La Mesa in 1992. Efforts to eradicate the population were thought to be successful, but pest control experts say that’s no longer the case.
Aggressive termites invading Houston area, establishing new colonies in South
By Stephanie Whitfield, USA Today│ May 7, 2018
The insects are an aggressive species called Formosan termites, and pest specialists don’t know how to eradicate all of them once they’ve established a colony in an area, University of Florida etymologists say.
“What you’re seeing are winged individuals that are the kids. They’re job is reproductive,” said Bryan Springer of Coastal Exterminating in the Houston suburb of La Porte. “They’re starting new colonies. They’re not expanding old colonies. They’re literally starting new colonies.”
When traditionally used methods to combat this nuisance have failed, an effective solution is the need of the hour.
Termirepel™ works on the mechanism of repellency. It temporarily inhibits the mating cycle of the insects. The product impairs the ability of the insects to reproduce, that is the insects will not lay eggs or the laid eggs will be infertile. The product causes feeding disruption in an insect by triggering an unpleasant reaction within the insect which might try to feed on the application. The product temporarily blocks the reproduction system of the insects by hindering the release of the vital hormones for growth.
Termirepel™ is an extremely low concern, low toxic, low hazard, non-carcinogenic and non-mutagenic insect aversive. It does not kill or cause harm to insects as well as to the environment which indirectly helps to maintain the ecological balance.
Termirepel™ is available in the form of the liquid concentrate, lacquer, and masterbatch.
Liquid concentrate can be mixed with paints and organic solvent in a predetermined ratio and be applied on the storage area, ceiling, panels exterior and interior of the homes, buildings, etc. as to be protected from termites.
Our product in the form of lacquer can be applied topically to the applications. The lacquer is compatible with most of the surfaces like wood, concrete, metal, polymer, ceramic, cables, wires which are already installed, etc.
Our product in the form of the masterbatch, which can be incorporated into the polymeric applications like pipes, wires, cables, polymeric tree guards, polymeric material, instruments and equipment’s which are attacked by termites. Termirepel™ can be incorporated during the extrusion of wires and cables making them pest repellent.
Termirepel™ is thermally stable and does not degrade on exposure to heat and sunlight. It does not kill or harm the insect but repels them.
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