Remote sensing for detection of termite infestations—Proof of Concept
F Green III, R A Arango, C R Boardman, K J Bourne, J C Hermanson, R A Munson
This paper reports the results of a search to discover the most cost effective and robust method of detecting Reticulitermes flavipes infestations in structural members of remote bridges, homes and other wooden structures and transmitting these results to internet cloud storage thus obviating routine travel to these structures for periodic visual inspections. Duplicate stainless steel tanks were constructed for housing R. flavipes colonies and commodity size dimension lumber members. Overall, results indicated that the simplest and cheapest independent variables to measure and send were: temperature (ºC), relative humidity (% RH); dew point (DPºC) and wood moisture content (WPE %) using off-the-shelf commercially available sensor systems. Above ground termite bait stations were determined to be the best method of housing the various sensors to permit ease of subsequent baiting if any termite activity was detected. We conclude that it is feasible and cost effective to monitor valuable wooden structures, like historic covered bridges, against termite infestation and potential structural damage.
Keywords: Reticulitermes flavipes, remote sensing, acoustic emission (AE), moisture, gases