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Formosan Subterranean Termites Found In Bonita Springs Home


I’ve seen a once rare but increasingly more common and destructive insect inside a Bonita Springs home, the Formosan Subterranean Termite.

In my 10 years as a tech with Tempco Pest Control, I’ve seen about every bug imaginable. I’ve recently discovered a once rare, but becoming more common, very destructive Formosan Subterranean Termites at a home in a high-end community in Bonita Springs off U.S. 41.

A closeup of an opening in a wood wall from a saw showing Formosan Subterranean Termites crawling beneath the surface

I received a call from a customer who thought she saw ants and wanted them treated. When I got there, I did a little more research. It’s never good enough to just see bugs and treat them. It’s our practice to find out what kind of pests we are dealing with and where they are coming from. We need to identify the source and remove the underlying issue that is attracting them such as food sources and moisture issues. 

When I arrived, I found a pile of shavings. My first thought was the shavings were ant frass, or more commonly – insect poop. But these shavings didn’t look quite like the normal frass I was used to, so I investigated further. I found a tiny hole and opened up the wall a bit to find a channel. 

A sample of wood wrapped in plastic in the Tempco Pest Control testing area that was taken from a home in Bonita Springs that tested positive for Formosan Subterranean Termites

After receiving permission from the homeowner, I cut out a 6 x 6 piece of drywall and found a massive, thriving colony of termites. I was suspicious of the size of the colony and wanted to identify the species before we treated. I obtained a sample termite – a swarmer – to take back to the lab and our team identified the termite as a Formosan termite

This is literally the worst type of termite you can have. Formosan termites are invasive exotic bugs that thrive in our climate. They are 10 times more aggressive and have significantly larger colonies than our native subterranean termites. A single colony of Formosan subterranean termite may contain several million termites versus several hundred thousand native subterranean termite colonies and can consume a one foot long 2 x 4 every 25 days or roughly eat 22 feet of 2X4 a year. They just eat and eat and eat – silently munching away, destroying the wood in your home.

An exposed section of wood in a house that shows damage from Formosan Subterranean Termites

There is no reason to panic when Formosan’s are identified because we have tools to beat them. I immediately set up a program to solve the issue. I foamed the wall with Termidor Foam to kill all the visible termites. Our next line of defense was to install Trelona termite bait stations outside of the house to kill the termites that are coming from the ground into the house and vice versa. Formosan subterranean termites must return to a consistent source of moisture to survive, so they build a sophisticated system of tubing tunnels or roadways to maintain a high moisture environment. Finally, we treat the attic with Boracare to kill any remaining bugs and prevent future infestation. 

The bottom line is that early detection is the best defense against these eating machines. Be on the lookout for swarms of what appear to be flying ants and wood shavings. If you see any, call us right away. Termites should never be ignored, and home remedies will not stop them. Although Formosan’s are relatively rare, we’ve found a couple of colonies lately, so they may be on the rise. Let’s work together to stop this invasive and destructive bug.

Josh Haskell

Josh is a specialist with Tempco Pest Control. Tempco's goal is to provide environmentally-friendly pest control in a setting large enough to serve all your pest control needs but small enough to offer personal service.