Beware of Bugs: The Formosan termite zone is spreading

An invasive species of termite is spreading in Austin anddamaging more and more homes every year.

An invasive species of termite is spreading and doing damage to more Austin area homes every year.

Formosan termites are described as 'common Eastern Subterranean Termites on steroids'. They can chew up your house in record time and it is crucial to catch them before it's too late.

At a quiet home in a wooded area of Lakeway, Inspector Ricardo Villalta with ABC Home and Commercial Services checks every square inch of the perimeter.

"It's spider city out here. I'm sure the mosquitoes are intense, too," he said.

This time, Villalta has his sites set on another insect intruder, the Formosan Termite.

Operations Manager Brian Kelly says the bugs are quite different from their more common cousins. 

"Formosans are about 60 percent more aggressive. They do about that much more damage and they enter the house in a lot more different places that just regular termites," he added.

Experts first spotted them around Central Texas homes 15 years ago in only two zip codes.

Now, Formosans call 13 local zip codes home. They are:
-78703
-78704
-78726
-78730
-78746
-78750
-78751
-78752
-78753
-78754
-78759
-78654
-78657

Villalta didn't see any signs of mounds, or the bugs themselves at this home, but is concerned about some areas that may eventually need attention.

"Those spots you can't see is what we get concerned with," added Kelly. "And that's why pretreating helps out, doing some preventative treatment."

If you're concerned, time is of the essence.

"They can do some significant damage in their first year which is rare for a regular termite to do," he said.

If you see the bugs, they've probably been there a few months, so it's time to take action.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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