Formosan Termite Control from Fischer Environmental
Serving the Louisiana & Mississippi Gulf Coast For Over 50 Years
The Bad News is that Formosan termites are very destructive pests. Treatments that have been used to control our native termites are not sufficient to eliminate Formosan Termites. The danger of destruction from this new threat is far greater than anything we have faced in the past. The Good News is that you can protect your property if you contact and work closely with Fischer Environmental Services. Use this web page as a guide, and ask Fischer to customize a program of maintenance and “state of the art” termite treatments that will effectively eliminate the Formosan termite. Fischer has been successfully combating termites in this area for over 50 years and winning the war.
Formosan termites are a fact of life in Louisiana and Mississippi. Many residents have seen springtime swarms of Formosans or have known someone whose home was damaged by these pests. The question is, what can we do about them?
First, there is no “quick fix”.
Targeted use of insecticides is part of the solution, but chemicals alone can’t protect your home from an underground Formosan termite colony that may stretch under your house and into neighboring yards.
When it comes to Formosan termites, there is no easy answer. Several combinations of treatments may be necessary.
Do not treat your home for termites by yourself. Insecticides should only be applied by qualified pest control operators. Because Formosans may be located inside walls, under houses, or in colonies away from houses, pest control operators may suggest using a combination of treatments.
Tamper-resistant baits are placed on walls, floors, and in the soil around houses. Termites then eat the bait and carry it back to the nest to share with the colony. This technique can reduce or eliminate colony populations even where fumigation treatments have failed.
Baits may be more expensive than traditional liquid treatments, but they offer excellent protection and are less environmentally intrusive than traditional methods.
The house is covered with a tent-like cover and a gas is released throughout the structure. Fumigation will eliminate dry wood termites and above ground infestations of Formosans, but it will not get rid of underground Formosan colonies or provide long-term protection. Once the house is cleared of gas there is no residual effect to prevent termites from re-entering.
This treatment is often coupled with injecting treated foam (similar to shaving foam) inside some wall voids, and is very successful. Liquid products are injected into the soil around and under the structure. Some types of modern liquid treatments can reduce or eliminate termite colony populations. Termites will come in contact with the material and carry it back to the nest, where it kills the other termites.
These treatments may be less expensive, in the long term, than baiting treatments, due to reduced labor expenses.
Termite treatments alone cannot save a home that is not properly maintained. Proper care of plumbing, gardens, roofs, and exterior wood is essential for keeping termites in check. See Maintaining Your Home and Garden for details.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR UNWELCOME GUEST
Native species of termites are destructive, but their colonies and populations are much smaller than Formosans and therefore do not normally damage a structure as quickly as Formosans can.
Formosan termites, due to their larger colonies, consume greater quantities of materials that contains wood fiber, including buildings, trees, paper, cardboard, and more than 47 kinds of plants.
Formosan termites themselves and their colonies are much larger than those of native species. A typical native colony may contain 60 thousand termites whereas Formosan colonies may range up to 60 million.
Native subterranean termite reproductives usually swarm from February through early April. They swarm during the day. Native termite swarmers are black or dark brown and shed wings during swarming season.
Formosan termites normally swarm from the end of April through June. They usually swarm at dusk and are attracted to light. Formosans are tan colored and shed clear or cream colored wings after a swarm.
Today Formosans are of particular concern in the southern area of Louisiana and Mississippi.
MAINTAINING YOUR HOME & GARDEN
Try following these three guidelines: (1) Reduce moisture, (2) Minimize the amount of raw wood available for termites to eat, and (3) Have your property inspected for termites, and hire a professional firm to put your property under protection.
- Grade the yard so water drains away from your home.
- Clean roof gutters often and repair them promptly.
- Repair all roof leaks promptly
- Make sure all plumbing is in working order.
- Eliminate wood that is in direct contact with soil (lattice work, fences, weatherboards).
- Treat unpainted exterior wood with an oil based wood preservative.
- Remove wood chips and mulch from your property. Use marble chips, lava rocks or gravel instead.
- Keep shrubs and gardens at least 12 to 24 inches away from your home. This assists in restricting termite access and allows easier inspection of the area for termite trails.
- Remove stumps and roots when clearing greenery from your property.
- Place woodpiles away from the house and make sure they are raised off the ground.
- When planting a tree, choose a spot that is at least half of the tree’s crown width from the house.
- Do not disturb chemical barriers placed in the soil by your pest control operator. If you do disturb the barrier, call your operator immediately. Failure to call could void your contract.
- Make sure that at least four inches of your home’s slab are visible for easy inspections.
BUILDING AND RENOVATING
Home construction offers opportunities for preventing or reducing Formosan infestations. Before beginning a building project, ask Fischer about termite prevention measures you can take. Remember, there are no cure-alls, but you can stack the odds in your favor by keeping these points in mind:
Slab houses should have at least four inches of exposed slab. Raised houses should be high enough (at least 18 inches) to insure proper inspection and treatment.
Ask Fischer to pretreat the soil before adding new slabs or piers. This is the best time to place a barrier of protection under and around a structure.
Grade the property so that water flows away from the house.
Ask your contractor to install termite inspection access panels in walls and floors. At a minimum, panels should be placed around wet areas such as tubs, showers and sinks. Fischer will evaluate your home and recommend panel locations at no charge.
When renovating, make sure plumbing is in perfect working order (no leaks or drips).
Remove all wood that touches soil.
Do not allow your contractor to bury excess wood on your property. Make sure all wood is hauled away.
For complete protection against Formosan Termites see Fischer’s Ultimate Guarantee.
If you need assistance with forsoman termite control, contact Fischer Environmental Services today. Fischer Environmental Services is a pest control company servicing Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama. We serve the following cities: New Orleans, New Orleans metro area, Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, Baton Rouge, Mandeville, Covington, Slidell, Hammond, Gulfport, Biloxi, Poplarville, Picayune, and Ocean Springs, and the following parishes and counties:
Louisiana Parishes Covered:
Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, St. Charles, St. John, Ascension, Livingston, St. Helena, Tangipahoa, Washington, St. Tammany, East and West Baton Rouge.
Mississippi Counties Covered:
Jackson, Harrison, Hancock, Pearl River, Stone, George, Greene, Perry, Forrest, Lamar, Marion, Walthall, Pike, Amite, Wilkinson.
Call Us today – (800) 391-2565 for a free assessment and control estimate or just Contact Fischer. Please take a look at our pest prevention program and residential treatment checklist.Written By Bob Kunst