If you’re applying termite treatment on the ground, that may be all you need to do to eliminate common subterranean termites.

However, ground-only methods may not work on Formosan termites, since they can build their nests above ground.

Confused? Then let’s demystify this process together.

Subterranean termites build their nests underground and construct shelter tubes to travel back and forth from their food source in your house.

Since subterranean termites must return to their nests, applying treatment on the ground, where their nests are located, is an effective plan. This is because doing so will kill their entire colony and eliminate infestation. (Of course, it will do nothing for the damage they may leave behind!)

Formosan termites do things a bit differently. They also usually build their nests underground, but they can also construct nests above ground near their food source. This, of course, makes them more difficult to treat.

Check with your termite treatment company to make sure they’ve identified the particular termite species in your house.

In addition, make sure they have taken the appropriate action. If the termites are anything other than Formosan, a ground-only treatment plan should be OK, but to stay on the safe side, it’s always good to inject termiticide into the soil.

Not sure which termites populate your area? Well, generally, Formosan termites require warmer temperatures to survive, compared to other termites. So, they’re rarely found above 35° North latitude (that is, the southern border of Tennessee and Nevada).

Are you still concerned about the type of termite treatment to order?

In the U.S., if your house isn’t in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee or Texas, the termites are probably not of the Formosan variety.

Further Information

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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