Formosan Termite


Actual Size: ½”

Characteristics: Yellowish-brown body with pale yellow wings.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes

Habitat: Nests are often constructed in walls, attics, and roof areas of buildings


  • Considered the most aggressive and potentially destructive termite species.
  • Generally invades structures from the ground, attracted to earth-to-wood contact.
  • When infesting wood, leaves a hollowed wood surface that may look blistered or peeled.

Formosan Termites in Central Florida

The Formosan subterranean termite is the most aggressive and potentially destructive termite species in Central Florida. As its name indicates, the Formosan subterranean termite is characterized by large populations that share interconnected foraging galleries in soil. This termite generally invades structures from the ground. They commonly enter through expansion joints, cracks, and utility conduits in slabs. Any wood-to-ground contact is an inviting entrance for Formosan subterranean termite infestations. When these termites invade a house above-ground, foraging tubes may be found connecting soil and the infested house or structure.

Formosan Termite Habitat

Formosan subterranean termites receive their nutrition from cellulose, which is found in both living and dead plant organisms. Formosan subterranean termites commonly infest around trees, rotten stumps, crops, woodpiles, and residential homes. Nests are made of a material known as “carton,” consisting of soil and masticated wood cemented together with saliva and excrement. The nest carton helps to conserve water. Above-ground nests are often constructed in walls, attics, and roof areas of buildings. Walls often bulge outward as a result of the carton, which may be larger than a basketball.

Formosan Termite Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Wood products that are infested by the Formosan subterranean termite may be recognized by tapping the wood with a hard object. In severe infestations, the Formosan subterranean termite hollows out woods leaving a paper-thin surface behind. A hollowed wood surface may look blistered or peeled. Besides infesting buildings, Formosan subterranean termites are serious pests of utility poles and railroad ties, often requiring removal and replacement. If you suspect a Formosan termite infestation, contact your local termite exterminators for treatment.