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About Formosan Termites
Formosan termites can be found in natural forests and urban areas. These generally live underground. Their so-called carton nests are large & hard. These nests are made out of materials from soil, chewed wood, plant matter, fecal matter and their own saliva. Formosan termites may also build above the grounds that are not directly connected to the soil - as long the temperature and humidity are ideal for them. High moisture levels on an immediate area would be convenient for them to live on the proximity.
Such Formosan termites are also found on shipments of mulch, timbers and plants. Boats become infested with their presence. This is possible because of these termites ability to nest above the ground.
These Formosan termites are considered to be one of the most destructive pests in the USA. Millions have been spent for prevention, treatment and repairs caused by these termites. Formosan termites have the tendency to create bigger colonies, which make them very capable of creating considerable damage to structures.
Formosan termites feed on materials that contain cellulose like wood, cardboard and paper. Their digestive systems have bacteria and single-celled organisms that digest the cellulose taken in. There have been cases even that they have been observed to chew on foams, copper sheeting, plastics and asphalts.
They reproduce with the king and queen mating. Eggs are produced after a few days. When Formosan termites form a colony that eventually becomes a mature one at that - one will be able to observe distinct groups called castes. These are composed of: a.) primary reproductives & secondary reproductives, b.) soldiers and c.) workers. Each looks different from each other, and has different roles to play in the colony.
The reproductives, as the name implies, takes on the role of reproduction and populating the colony. The primary reproductives are aided by secondary reproductives. The soldiers take on the task of defending the colony against natural enemies as ants - and these are very aggressive and would secrete a glue-like fluid for their defense mechanism. The workers, who are in fact composing the bulk of the population, build the nest and provides for food. Workers are also tasked to care of the eggs and the larvae (the newly hatched). All work together for the survival of their colony.
These reproductives become alates or swarmers. These alates have wings and are able to initiate new colonies. After swarming, both the male and female alates will lose their wings. They will then form pairs. If they are successful in creating a new colony, that male alate will become the king, and the female will become the queen respectively.
It would take around 5 years for a colony to become significantly populated and produce adult winged termites - and have the potential and capability to create havoc of substantial degree.