The Formosan subterranean termite is especially damaging to wood, and it is spreading in the United States. One of the ways these termites get started in an area is from boats and ships that pick up these hitchhikers when they are in infested areas, or take on infested cargo, and then dock on our shores. When the winged reproductive termites swarm from the boats, they take to the air and land in nearby shore areas, where they start new colonies. Winged termites eventually swarm from these colonies, spreading the infestation further every year.
It has not been known exactly how far these winged Formosan termites spread. One new study in New Orleans found that the majority of them landed within 273 yards of their parent colony. But one winged termite was caught a whopping 1422 yards away, or almost a mile. It was not windy during the study, but on windy days they would probably land even further away.