Albin Exterminating (361) 729-2370 -- 1902 S.H. 35 Bypass Rockport, TX 78382
are formosan termites? The formosan termite is a non-native termite that was first
discovered in the coastal bend by Albin Exterminating in
June of 1997 (Click
to read story in Caller Times). It is classified as a subterranean termite like our native species,
but it�s behavior can be quite different.
is it different from our native subterranean termite?
It differs in many ways. One
big difference is colony size. A
large colony of native subterranean termites (reticuletermes flavipes) may
have a million or more individuals in the colony.
Formosan colonies can be up to 6-8 million.
The sizes of the individual termites is very similar, but the
formosan colony has a lot more mouths working on a food source.
Formosan can also live for extended periods of time even after
being cut off from their water source.
They produce a matrix
of dirt, fecal material, and wood pulp called carton. (insert pic) This
carton material is very good at holding moisture, and when the termites
cannot reach their normal source of moisture they can live for many months
off of the water in the carton material.
the colony size is so much larger, does this mean the damage occurs more
quickly? Yes. It has been
our experience that damage can occur at 5-8 times the rate that our native
termites do damage. That
being said, it is very difficult to quantify termite damage since size of
the particular colony, access to moisture, and some other things figure in
to the rate at which damage progresses.
formosan termites eat things other than wood?
They will consume many materials that have some degree of cellulose
in them. Wallboard, cloth, cardboard, and paper are all at risk.
They will also eat through other non-cellulose materials to get to
a food or water source. Plastic
pipe, foam insulation, and even this sheet metals have all been damaged or
penetrated by formosan termites.
heard that the soldiers will actually attack people.
Is this true.
No. If a colony is
disturbed, the soldiers will take up a defensive position to guard the
colony, and if provoked will latch onto your finger or skin.
This is painless and does not even break the skin.
heard of �flying termites�. Do
formosan termites fly? All of our property infesting termites have a swarming stage
where they fly. The winged
reproductives (alates) of formosan termites typically swarm from early May
until early June. These
swarms occur following a rainy or damp time, and will occur after mid-day
typically towards evening. The
swarms are usually quite large with up to several thousand termites not
being unusually large. The
alates will have 4 wings of equal size that are shed shortly after
swarming occurs, they will be tan or light brown in color, and they will
have a single body segment. (insert pic) (insert
Ed�s swarming footage)
formosan termites be controlled?
Controlled, yes. Eliminated, no one really knows.
Even though colony elimination can be demonstrated in the lab, it
cannot be proven in the field. Treatment
with liquid termiticides, baits, and termiticide foams are all effective
tools in protecting property from termites, including formosans.
I need to tent fumigate if my house has formosans?
Except in extremely rare circumstances, no.
you offer a warranty on formosan termite treatments?
have said that you might need to open walls when you treat for formosans,
another company didn�t mention needing to do that.
Why the difference? Remember the carton material?
We will open walls to treat and clean out the carton material.
This is more cost effective than having to repair more damage at a
later point due to the carton material supporting live termites for months
on end. We are very good at
treating termites, but there are others that you should contract with to
do repairs. We will work
closely with your chosen contractor to assist where we can.
you offer termite baiting programs for formosnas?
Yes, but we also spot treat with liquid termiticides to hasten an
end to ongoing damage. Baiting
programs are effective, but can sometimes take a long time to get control
if used as a stand alone treatment. We
would rather treat aggressively to protect the property, and utilize the
baits to further reduce the population pressure on your home.
did Albin Exterminating get to be experts on formosan termites?
Prior to the termites being found in 1997, we had read up on them,
and had learned about them from various workshops and schools that we had
attended. Dr. Roger Gold from
Texas A&M University did an outstanding job of preparing us for what
might be coming. He also was
the entomologist of record who confirmed our discovery of formosan
termites in 1997. We spent hours with A&M in the year following our
discovery, and Drs. Gold and Howell spent much time in Rockport following
the discovery. We also flew
to New Orleans and spent time with a pest management professional and an
entomologist from the New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board
learning about control techniques. They
had about 25 more years experience than we, so we were eager to learn from
them. We feel it was time
very well spent.