Underground Termite of Formosa

Underground Termite of Formosa (Coptotermes formosanus)

Class / order / family: Insecta / Isoptera / Rhinotermidae

The underground termite of Formosa has long been a plague in Hawaii, being detected for the first time in 1896 but without being correctly identified until 1905.


The winged players have a pale yellow to yellowish brown color and the front wings with two dark veins.


The subterranean termite of Formosa is an underground termite. He lives in the land where he builds mud pipes. They are divided into three castes: winged (reproductive), welded and worker. However, it has been described as a more vigorous and aggressive species than the native subterranean termite species.

Swarms usually occur after a day of warm rain in late spring / summer and occur in the evening, ending before midnight. The winged ones are attracted by the light. A mature queen can deposit up to 1,000 eggs per day.

The number of termites per colony varies from 1.4 to 6.86 million, with areas of food location of around 162 to 3,571 square meters per 0.4 hectare respectively. Food searchers from the smaller colonies traveled 43 m and those from the larger colonies traveled 115 m at their maximum points to find food.


Basically they are the same as the underground termite of the east. The Formosan termite has the habit of establishing secondary colonies above ground level if there is any constant source of available moisture. These nests are made of a material called cardboard, formed by soil material and wood stuck with saliva and feces. These large nests make the walls flammable. Although it is common, they are found more frequently than with other species of subterranean termites, truly aerial nests (without there ever having been contact with the ground).


The control involves the installation of a chemical barrier and / or a monitoring-priming system in the soil, between the termite colony and the wood of the structure. In addition, all wood-soil contact must be removed (this is the responsibility of the owner) and all wood waste must be removed and the moisture content of the wood reduced to less than 20%. Secondary and aerial colonies can be controlled by correcting the moisture problem by dehydrating the source of moisture from the area.
If possible, the cartons should be removed. They can be localized and treated locally with appropriate products. However, because there is no practical and reliable way to detect small cartons, fumigation may be advisable or necessary.

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