Whole-of-house protection from subterranean termite attack and damage after four years of field exposure

IRG/WP 08-10665

B M Ahmed (Shiday), J R J French, S R Przewloka, P Vinden, J Hann, C Y Adam

This study reports the condition of the whole-of-house termite protection test in tropical Australia after four years. The study was designed to provide maximum protection to whole-of-house timbers in a natural situation posing the highest hazard from subterranean termite populations. The houses were constructed either on concrete slabs or suspended floors using untreated and treated timber framing. Termite foraging behaviour and the various termite control measures used to prevent termite attack and damage of the simulated houses were examined. Although many termite species are known to be present in this field site, the five major economic termite species found attacking either the bait stations or the structural timbers were: Coptotermes spp., Heterotermes spp., Nasutitermes spp., Schedorhinotermes spp. and Mastotermes spp. The results obtained after four years of field study suggested that an integrated pest management (IPM) approach based upon ecological knowledge of termites and minimisation of environmental impact of treatments enhanced the protection of the whole-of-house timber framing structures. This IPM approach includes adopting a mix of alternative strategies in termite control including chemical and physical barriers, combinations of treated and untreated timber framing and emphasise on building practices that are designed to build out termites and ensure whole-of-house protection of timber in buildings against termites for the reasonable life of the building.

Keywords: simulated houses, integrated pest management (IPM), Coptotermes spp., Heterotermes spp., Nasutitermes spp., Schedorhinotermes spp., Mastotermes spp., foraging, timber damage, build out termites, tropical field experiment, physical and chemical barrier, treated and untreated timber

Conference: 08-05-25/29, Istanbul, Turkey

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