||Proper identification is essential - some species of termites will attack only
living trees and will not attack dry seasoned timbers in a building -
whilst others are highly destructive to such buildings in a short amount
of time - please see below an outline of the main destructive termites.
found throughout Australia - particularly in urban
areas or where eucalypt gum trees are highly prevalent.
||Destructive Nature - Coptotermes
acinaciformis are highly destructive to buildings and other
timber structures - the most widely distributed and destructive
timber pest in Australia - accounts for more than 70% of the serious
damage to buildings in Australia. A single colony may consist of
more than one million termites. A most voracious timber pest ...
one to be taken seriously.
Nest Location - Coptotermes acinaciformis are
very secretive termite species; they build their nest out of sight -
often within the base of eucalyptus or other susceptible trees - or
completely under ground - often within an enclosed patio or under
concrete on ground flooring which is ideal for moisture retention,
temperature and humidity control within the termite colony's central
Sub-nest in your wall ? Coptotermes acinaciformis may construct a subsidiary
nests away from the main colony nest - often in a wall cavity of a building where there is a reliable
moisture source - say from a leaking shower recess or faulty
guttering or rusted down pipes.
of Distribution - Commonly found in eastern NSW and south eastern Queensland - particularly
along the entire coast-line, the Great Dividing Range and adjoining slopes.
||Identification - this species tends
to "gouge" the affected timber and has a fetish around nails used
in construction. They have a major
soldier (6mm in body length) and a minor soldier (4mm in body length).
Destructive Nature - Schedorhinotermes intermedius are
highly destructive to buildings and other timber structures. If mostly
major (larger) soldiers are sighted, then there will be most likely be a large
colony with the potential to cause severe and rapid damage to structural
timbers of a building or other timber structures.
Nest Location - Schedorhinotermes intermedius commonly build their nest in tree stumps, in the root crown of the living,
dead and debilitated trees, under houses or within enclosed patios or
other areas where timber has been buried or stored in contact with the
Area of Distribution - Commonly found throughout NSW; particularly in urban areas, where buildings are constructed of softwood or oregon timber framing. This species is responsible for most of the timber damage to buildings in the NSW region.
||Destructive Nature - Coptotermes frenchi can cause severe damage to buildings and other wooden structures. It is common for this species to devour timber framing leaving only a thin veneer. This species is the most shy of the destructive species; they will retreat from a location immediately (for the time being) if disturbed.
Nest Location - Coptotermes frenchi most often build their nest in the root crown or lower trunk area of living trees, particularly eucalypts. They may also build their nest as a mound in the dryer areas.
||Area of Distribution - Commonly found throughout NSW, ACT, Victoria and southern areas of Queensland and Western Australia
- particularly in urban areas or where eucalypt gum trees are highly
Destructive Nature - Nasutitermes exitiosus are
destructive to buildings and other timber structures. Sometimes severe
damage may occur, but not so commonly as the other species listed above.
Nest Location - Nasutitermes exitiosus build
a mound nest protruding 30cm to 75cm above the ground. Control can
be as easy as knocking the top off the nest and a follow up insecticide
treatment inside the nest.
||Area of Distribution - Commonly found in
eastern NSW, ACT and south eastern areas of Queensland including Brisbane and coastal region to Rockhampton - particularly prevalent along the entire coast-line, along
the Great Dividing Range and western slopes.
Destructive Nature - Coptotermes lacteus attacks
stumps, dead trees, timber fences, poles and other timber structures
that are in contact with the soil, being softened by weathering or decay.
These termites are also known to attack such timber in damp sub-floor
Nest Location - this termite species, most often builds
it's nest as a mound up to 2m above ground level, with hard clay walls,
so control is easily effected once located by knocking the top off and
insecticide treatment of the nest.
||Area of Distribution - Commonly found in
eastern NSW and south eastern Queensland - particularly prevalent in the coastal and mountain regions
along the entire eastern side of NSW.
Destructive Nature - Nasutitermes walkeri can
be destructive to damp timbers often a serious problem where the sub-floor
of a building is damp and ventilation is poor with resulting wood decay
or fungal growth.
Nest Location - Nasutitermes walkeri build their
nest in trees on the main trunk or in the fork of a large branch.
||Area of Distribution - Commonly found
throughout NSW, ACT and southern parts of South Australia and Western Australia - particularly in urban areas or where eucalypt gum
trees are highly prevalent.
Destructive Nature - Heterotermes
ferox prefer damp timbers; are usually found
in fences, poles and other timber structures with
wood decay from weathering. Often confused with the more destructive Coptotermes
acinaciformis species. Correct identification is essential.
Nest Location - Heterotermes ferox often build
their nest next to stumps, logs, or other timber with soil contact
where some wood decay or rotting is prevalent.
Commonly found in tropical Northern Territory,
parts of QLD and WA -
generally north of the tropic of Capricorn.
||Nest location - Mastotermes darwiniensis build their nest (secretively)
totally below the soil surface; or in the trunks and root crowns of
trees and stumps. Once a nest is mature (over 100,000 or much higher)
they can "split off" to form other nests over a wide ranging area.
Highly destructive nature - Mastotermes darwiniensis is one
of the world's most destructive termite species, often causing severe
damage to houses, buildings, bridges, posts, poles, and many other
plant and animal products. Mastotermes
darwiniensis is also an agricultural pest, responsible for ringbarking
and killing trees, fruit & vegetable crops, sugarcane
and rubber trees.
Anything for dinner - Mastotermes darwiniensis is reported to
attack rubber tyres on tractors and cause damage to leather, hide, plastic
or lead-sheathed cables, bitumen, bagged salt, flour, glass and various
the most ancient of all the termites in the world - they occur only
in Australia - a termite to be feared.
||Dampwood termites form small independent nests; they feed on sick or dead trees, decaying wood in the ground or in buildings and fences; they are seldom found in dry timbers in buildings; and are normally larger in size than other termite species.
Area of Distribution - Dampwood termites are found across highland and coastal Victoria, NSW, Queensland, NT and SA.
||Drywood termites occur mostly in tropical areas, where the atmospheric humidity is constantly above 75 percent.
Cryptotermes brevis - the introduced and highly destructive West Indian drywood termite, is rarely located in Australia.
Specialist eradication procedures involve wrapping the entire building in plastic and using methyl bromide fumigation.