Formosan termite with large pinchers - termite and pest control in Kailua Kona | Kona Coast Pest Control

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 Kailua Kona

The most destructive and aggressive termite in Kailua Kona is the subterranean termite called the Formosan termite. The Formosan subterranean termite is known to have massive populations in the soil that colonize in interconnected galleries. Through mud tubes from the soil in the ground, the termite will directly invade structures through self-made tunnels. Entry points consist of cracks in the structure, utility conduits in slabs, and expansion joints. Infestations are also commonly found where wood and ground come in contact.

Formosan Termite Habitat

Cellulose is a compound found in living and dead organic plant material. The cellulose is where Formosan termites receive their nutrition, which is why the wood in homes becomes a major target. These termites will usually infest residential homes, woodpiles, crops, rotten stumps, and trees. The termites will use their saliva and excrement to cement together soil and masticated wood for their nests. Once formed, the material is referred to as a “carton.” These cartons are constructed to conserve water and are often developed in the roof areas of buildings, walls, and attics. The carton can sometimes be seen through a basketball-sized bulge in a wall.

Formosan Termite Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

One way to identify an infestation of damaged wood on the property is by tapping wood with a hard object. Since the Formosan termite can hollow out wood, the hollowed, paper-thin remnants would produce an empty sound. These hallowed wood surfaces may also appear peeled or blistered. Although Formosan termites are known for infesting buildings, they are also destructive to railroad ties and utility poles. If you suspect a Formosan termite infestation, contact your local termite exterminators for treatment.