Termite Colonies Larger than Expected

For a long time it was thought that the average subterranean termite colony contained about  50,000 termites. It was thought that these colonies might have as many as one million individuals only in unusual situations. But in recent years new research has shown that some termite colonies are much larger. Dr. Grace has evidence that colonies can consist of up to 3.2 million termites. These estimates were made in Canada, where we expect termite colonies to be smaller than in warmer areas. In Florida, Dr. Su has shown that some native subterranean termite colonies there actually reach 5 million termites!

Why is termite colony size important?

Larger colonies can cause a greater amount of damage in a shorter period of time than smaller colonies, and they can be eating wood in a larger area—perhaps in several homes at once. For instance, a large colony of 3.2 million termites can consume over 1½ pounds of wood every day, and they are able to find and infest unprotected wood in an area covering 2½ acres! Formosan termites, which are spreading every year, have even larger and more destructive mature colonies, ranging from 2 to 10 million individuals. They can tunnel an amazing 110 yards—the length of a football field! Formosan termites can cause significant damage to a home in just six months, and have been known to actually bring down a home in as little as two years.

Call us to arrange an inspection or treatment for these hidden pests—finding and controlling them early can prevent a lot of damage to your home.

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