A below-ground exposure method for determining the resistance of woody and non-woody materials to attack by subterranean termites

IRG/WP 93-10012

M Lenz, J W Creffield

With existing field test procedures, in which specimens are installed vertically to some of their length into the ground and spaced out from each other ("grave-yard" tests), variations in the rate of contact by termites between replicates can be common. Mechanical damage to specimens during inspection and re-installation may also be difficult to avoid. A new field test method, evaluated in Australia, is described. Close to nests of or within the most active foraging sites of target species of termite, test specimens are exposed horizontally below the grownd in trenches (300 mm deep). The base of the trench is lined with strips of termite-susceptible timber. On top of the strips, specimens of susceptible timber and test specimens are layed adjacent to each other in alternating sequence. These are covered with additional strips of timber. Finally the test trench is backfilled with soil. Offering specimens together with a concentrated supply of susceptible timber below the soil surface provides an attractive food source and an environment that is conducive to sustained foraging by termites. Under Australian conditions brown, white and soft rots were present in timber specimens buried horizontally in the soil at a depth of 300 mm. The below-ground exposure method is very versatile and can be used for assessing the resistance of a wide range of materials of any shape. Inspections and re-installations of tests can be performed with ease and without causing damage to test specimens.


Conference: 93-05-16/21 Orlando, Florida, USA

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