Formosan Termites

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Formosan Termite Facts

  • Formosan termites are subterranean termites, preferring to live in large colonies underground.
  • They measure about 1/8 -1/4 inch in length with two sets of wings that are about the same size.
  • They are known to swarm in the morning or early evening, often after rain in the spring.

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Formosan Termite Bites and Treatment

While subterranean Formosan termites show aggression eating wood, plants, trees, boats, barges and homes, and expanding their colonies at unprecedented rates, they are not known to demonstrate aggression towards humans, unless threatened. In the Formosan subterranean termite social structure, soldier termites, equipped with biting jaws defend their colonies against all threats and intruders.

Formosans not known to bite, could be case of mistaken identity

Fortunately, Formosan termites prefer to stay out of the way, working feverishly in tunnels. Some people, frightened by young reproductive Formosan termites swarming, think that swarming termites can bite; however, termite alates do not possess jaws or stingers.

Rarely occurring termite bites generally inconsequential

The only termite caste capable of actually delivering a “bite” to a human would be one of the soldier termites as they possess large mandibles that the colony relies on for protection against termite predators like ants. However, termites that infest homes prefer to remain hidden in their mud tubes, underground colonies or inside of wood. This behavior keeps termites safe from predators and the environment. So the likelihood of being bitten by a termite is very, very small.

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