Formosan Termite


Actual Size: ½”

Characteristics: Pale yellow wings and a yellowish-brown body.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes

Habitat: Typically builds nests in wooden areas, such as wall voids or structural beams.


  • Are considered to be one of the most aggressive and destructive termite species.
  • Typically accesses wood that is in contact with soil.
  • May leave the surface of the wood looking blistered or peeled.

Formosan Termites in Memphis TN Metro Area

The Formosan subterranean termite, known for its highly aggressive nature, poses a significant threat to Memphis TN Metro Area. This particular species of termite thrives in large numbers, creating interconnected foraging galleries in soil. Its primary method of invasion involves entering structures from below the ground. Common entry points include expansion joints, cracks, and utility conduits in slabs. It’s important to note that any wood in contact with the ground becomes an enticing entryway for Formosan subterranean termite infestations. In instances where these termites invade a house above the ground, you may notice foraging tubes connecting the soil to the infested house or structure.

Formosan Termite Habitat

Formosan subterranean termites rely on cellulose, a substance present in both living and deceased plant organisms, as their source of nourishment. These termites frequently infest areas surrounding trees, decaying stumps, crops, woodpiles, and residential properties. Their nests are composed of a unique material called “carton,” which consists of soil and chewed wood bound together with saliva and waste. The carton serves the purpose of preserving water. In above-ground locations, nests are often constructed within walls, attics, and roof areas of buildings. Due to the carton’s presence, walls may bulge outward, sometimes exceeding the size of a basketball.

Formosan Termite Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

To identify wood products affected by the Formosan subterranean termite, a simple test involves tapping the wood with a solid object. In cases of severe infestation, these termites hollow out the wood, leaving only a thin, fragile surface. This hollowed wood surface may appear blistered or peeled. It’s worth noting that apart from infesting buildings, Formosan subterranean termites pose a significant threat to utility poles and railroad ties, often necessitating their removal and replacement.

With how much damage these pests can cause to homes and buildings, it’s important to contact your local termite exterminators if you suspect you have an infestation.