Swarming Formosan termites: a threat to sustainability

May is termite swarming time.  Clouds of termites appear in the southeastern United States, causing alarm with homeowners.  Everyone knows that termites are destructive.

But what everyone does not know is that it is getting worse.  Pest control researchers and regulators know about this problem, but few outside of the pest control world see it.  This problem is the Formosan termite.

Formosan termites, a scourge in the western Pacific, reached Hawaii 100 years ago.  They appeared in the mainland US after World War II, hitchhiking on equipment returned to the mainland from the Pacific islands.

Formosan termites are 10 times more destructive:

The University of Florida says that Formosan termites are 10 times more destructive:

“A single individual of the Formosan subterranean termite does not consume more wood than a single native subterranean termite, however, because of its large population size, a Formosan subterranean termite colony can cause more structural damage in a shorter time.”


“A single colony of Formosan subterranean termite may contain several million termites

 (versus several hundred thousand termites for native subterranean termite species)”


Formosans have infested the southeastern US:

Here are maps from the USDA and southeastern universities showing Formosan infestation:

More Formosan termites hurt sustainability two ways.  First, the life of some structures will be shortened.  Second, treating termites with termiticide will grow.  Termiticide is the solution most people know.

We at Polyguard Products have worked with researchers and regulators in five termite pressured states (plus Australia) since 1999.  After 22 years of research we have a physical termite barrier incorporated into Polyguard’s widely used waterproofing.  See the research and the resultant water|termite barrier at www.polyguardbarriers.com We call this the TERM Barrier System.  TERM protects around the building envelope from both water and termites.