Comparison of three methods for assessing the in-ground termite resistance of treated timber, durable timber and plastics at sites in Australia, USA and Thailand - First results
M Lenz, A F Preston, J W Creffield, K J Archer, B M Kard, C Vongkaluang, Y Sornnuwat
The in-ground resistance of materials to attack by subterranean termites is most commonly assessed with one form or another of the conventional graveyard method, despite the significant shortcomings of this method. In Australia, an alternative method, in which all samples of test materials are placed below-ground, has been in use for more than 10 years. The method provides reliable exposure of samples to prolonged contact by termites and offers a number of other advantages, notably ease of removal and re-installation of specimens, and protection from fires or damage caused by animals and vandalism. We describe a study in which assessments of materials with the below-ground exposure method were compared with the graveyard procedure and a modification of the South African ground contact method. Sites encompassed a range of climatic conditions and termite faunas, subtropics with species of Reticulitermes in Mississippi, USA; humid tropics with a diverse termite fauna dominated by Macrotermitinae (fungus-culturing termites) in SW Thailand; wet and dry tropics with separate trials for the two economically important species, Mastotermes darwiniensis and the mound-building form of Coptotermes acinaciformis, in Northern Australia; and at a semi-arid inland site with a temperate climate in Eastern Australia where the tree-nesting form of Coptotermes acinaciformis is the dominant species. Materials included in the investigation were: CCA- and ACQ-treated Pinus radiata (each at two retentions), a durable timber (bald cypress, Taxodium distichum) and two plastic cable sheathings (nylon and low density polyethylene). This paper provides details of the trial and gives first observations from inspections at three sites after one year of exposure of the materials to termites.
Keywords: SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES; ISOPTERA; BELOW-GROUND EXPOSURE METHOD; GRAVEYARD METHOD; GROUND CONTACT METHOD; CCA AND ACQ WOOD PRESERVATIVES; BALD CYPRESS; PLASTIC CABLE SHEATHINGS; NYLON; POLYETHYLENE
Conference: 98-06-14/19 Maastricht, The Low Countries