Re-sealing cut ends of envelope-treated softwood framing timber to protect against damage by the Australian subterranean termite Coptotermes acinaciformis: A revisitation

IRG/WP 06-20335

B C Peters, M Lenz, J W Creffield

The claim that Australian Coptotermes acinaciformis (Froggatt) do not appear to initiate damage on timber from the end grain, thereby negating the need for treating exposed cut ends of softwood framing material (35 ? 90 mm) which has a repellent Tanalith? T envelope, was further investigated. Specimens of commercial Pinus radiata D.Don framing timber (untreated) and Pinus elliottii Englem. (untreated and envelope-treated) were partially clad in fine stainless steel mesh. Clad and unclad specimens were exposed to C. acinaciformis near Townsville, Australia, for four months. Results showed that this species of termite can damage timber from the end grain, including exposed cut ends of envelope-treated material. Differences between these and other test conditions (where C. acinaciformis did not damage timber from the end grain) are discussed. Clearly, outcomes from laboratory and field studies with preservative-treated materials are dependent upon experimental conditions. The amount of feeder material offered in a given method can strongly influence the termite response. Further investigation is required to standardise this aspect of conditions in protocols for assessment of wood preservatives.

Keywords: envelope treatment, preservation, subterranean termite, Coptotermes, Pinus, softwood susceptibility, test methods, Australia

Conference: 06-06-18/22 Tromsoe, Norway

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