The Formosan Subterranean Termite, Coptotermes formosanus, became established in

the Charleston area in the mid 1950s. Over the last few decades it has become the

dominant species of subterranean termite in the region. They are categorized as a

subterranean termite because of their behavior and the fact that they use the soil as

their primary source of moisture. Their colonies can become very large ranging from 5

to 7 million insects per colony with multiple colonies per acre. Each mature colony has

the potential of producing 70,000 swarmers/alates each spring. These swarmers can fly

onto structures and create aerial infestations with no ground contact if there is a

sufficient above ground moisture source. All Formosan ground based infestations will

eventually create an above ground nest.

Formosans are also considered an arboreal termite species meaning they will infest and

build nests in live trees. They are a very aggressive species and are very adept at

finding above ground moisture sources. They will build their nests above ground in

trees and structures typically made from fecal material, saliva, wood, and soil,

commonly referred to as a carton nest.

When encountering above ground activity during a repair, the challenge is in identifying

all areas of possible activity/damage and determining the original source of the

infestation. Special attention is given to following all visible evidence of activity

until it ends. Eliminating all above ground moisture sources is also a critical component

in controlling an existing infestation. Unfortunately, the Formosan is a very resilient

species and any activity remaining above ground in a structure may continue to survive

for a long period of time if left undisturbed. If enough insects are present, one of the

termites may develop into an auxiliary/secondary reproductive and begin laying eggs,

potentially creating a new colony. In some situations it may not be possible to find all

areas of hidden activity hidden within a structure. Hidden activity can continue in those

areas if left undisturbed and untreated.

We have extensive experience working with local expert entomologists and structural engineers

to carefully repair damage caused by termites to your home.  If you see any signs of termites or damage,

call us for a free inspection.

- Termite statistics listed above provided by Palmetto Exterminators, Inc.




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