Formosan Subterranean Termite
The Formosan subterranean termite is commonly known as the ground termite. Ground termites are widespread and invasive. They eat a big chunk out of our wallets! In Hawaii, the costs to control these termites exceed $100 million annually.
Termites thrive best in moist environments. They are unwanted visitors that take advantage of our weather and have a blast eating our homes. Ground termites devour decayed wood since it’s much easier to consume. They are capable of gnawing through electrical insulation, resulting in extensive damage and unsafe conditions.
Ground termites infest our homes in massive colonies consisting of millions of termites. These creatures build mud tunnels above the ground and are capable of traveling hundreds of feet. Mud tubes help them connect to the soil looking for moisture and more wood to feed on. Their tunnels can extend across the ground, wall, or branch from the ceiling in various shapes and sizes. Imagine a miniature tunnel on the ground with a diameter similar to chopsticks.
West Indian drywood termites are annoying pests. Because they are not as widespread as the Formosan termites, they cause less damage to our wallets. Drywood termites are STILL considered among Hawaii’s most damaging termites. These species survive in wood for years before being discovered. Imagine all the fun they’re having in the meantime…eating our furniture, too.
These termites also love Hawaii’s tropical weather. Drywood termites prefer dry wood but will help themselves to both solid AND rotted wood. They get a free ride into our homes via infested furniture and other wooden objects or by flying through open windows and doors. Inaccessible areas such as crawl spaces and attics are some of their secret hideaways.
Their colonies are small, usually over a thousand members. They build hollow tunnels (eating wood from the inside) to travel through. Wooden support beams weaken, causing the structure to become fragile, unstable, and even collapse. Can you imagine 10,000 termites in your home? There can be even more, depending on the number of colonies present.