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How Far Do Termites Travel to Feed?

Martha Adams

Foraging worker termites have been found to travel as far as 400 feet from their colony in search of food. They eat cellulose, which is found in wood, living trees, telephone poles and your house. Professional exterminators and home inspectors can provide reliable information on these global pests.

Millions of termites live in this colony

Feeding Area

Termite feeding area is expressed in two ways: by distance from the colony and by space around the colony. According to Exopest, an Australian exterminator, termites in Melbourne have tunneled 150 to 250 feet from their nest to a food site. In a study published in 2008 in “African Entomology,” a colony of African harvester termites fed throughout an area of approximately 2,303 square feet around their nest.

Termites in the US

Termites in the Eastern US build central subterranean colonies that construct underground tunnels radiating out for 100 yards to include a foraging area of 12,000 square feet.

Formosan termites, a new threat

The Formosan termite, first discovered in the US in San Diego, California, in 1992, has been found in homes a quarter of a mile from the original infestation, even though that colony was eradicated. Other termites eat about 5 pounds of wood per year, but this fast-mover can eat 5 pounds of wood per day and has spread rapidly across the southern US all the way to Florida.