This is another subterranean termite closely related to the Formosan Termite that has managed to travel from its native Asia to many other regions of the world, including throughout the West Indies and in 1996 it was first discovered in southern Florida, and by 2004 in other areas of Florida. It also has been found on private boats arriving in Florida from islands in the Caribbean.
Similar to the Formosan, the Asian Subterranean has swarming flights at dusk or at night, but usually earlier in the spring, beginning in February in Florida. It also may have very large colonies, but much of its status as a potential pest in the U.S. currently is unknown.
This species is very similar to the Formosan Termite. Soldiers of both species have the teardrop shaped head and a large “fontanelle” at the front-middle of the head. Soldiers of the Asian Subterranean have only 1 pair of hairs adjacent to this fontanelle while Formosans have two pairs, and the Asian soldiers have a higher bulge just behind the fontanelle, seen in profile, that the Formosan does not have. The alates of the Asian are slightly smaller than the Formosan alates and have a dark brown head, prothorax, and top of abdomen, while the alates of Formosans are entirely light yellow-brown.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Soil nesting colonies are controlled with soil pretreatments and with post-construction applications of residual insecticides. Bait products also may provide effective results, possibly leading to the elimination of entire colonies. Control of excessive moisture situations within structures will reduce the attraction to the termites.