This is not what you would typically expect to find when arriving for a termite inspection as these termites are outside of there normal environment. As it turns out they were feeding on a false floor which was removed by the owner and the video captured termites approximately 24hrs after the timber floor was removed. The timber that was removed was severely damaged by the termites so much so that if it hadn’t been directly on top of the concrete it would have collapsed the moment someone walked onto it. Not all termites will attack your home like these guys, an experienced pest control professional can help identify termites and there variety.
Title: Termite Identification in Australia: Species, Distribution, and Management Strategies
Termites are essential to ecosystems, recycling dead wood and other organic material. However, they can also cause significant damage to human structures. In Australia, over 300 termite species have been identified, with varying degrees of economic impact. This essay explores the taxonomy, distribution, ecology, and management of termites in Australia, focusing on the most significant pest species and outlining integrated pest management strategies.
Australia is home to a diverse range of termite species, with over 300 documented species. While many termites contribute positively to the environment, some species can be detrimental to human structures and the economy. This site aims to provide an overview of termite identification in Australia, focusing on the most economically significant pest species. We also discuss the ecology, distribution, and management strategies for these species.
Taxonomy and Identification of Australian Termites
2.1. Termite Order: Isoptera
Termites belong to the insect order Isoptera, consisting of six families and 20 genera. In Australia, there are four main termite families: Mastotermitidae, Kalotermitidae, Rhinotermitidae, and Termitidae.
2.2. Mastotermitidae: Giant Northern Termite
The family Mastotermitidae is represented in Australia by a single species, the giant northern termite (Mastotermes darwiniensis). This species is found in northern Australia and is the most primitive extant termite species. It is also a significant pest, causing extensive damage to wooden structures.
2.3. Kalotermitidae: Drywood Termites
The family Kalotermitidae, also known as drywood termites, contains several economically important species. Drywood termites are primarily found in coastal regions and do not require contact with soil. Their colonies are smaller than other termite species, but they can cause significant damage to wooden structures.
2.4. Rhinotermitidae: Subterranean Termites
The family Rhinotermitidae, or subterranean termites, is responsible for the majority of termite-related damage in Australia. These termites require contact with soil and build extensive networks of tunnels to access food sources. Some of the most significant pest species in this family include Coptotermes acinaciformis, Coptotermes frenchi, and Coptotermes lacteus.
2.5. Termitidae: Higher Termites
The family Termitidae, known as higher termites, is the most diverse termite family in Australia. Some species in this family, such as Nasutitermes exitiosus and Nasutitermes walkeri, are significant pests. However, many species within this family are essential to ecosystems and do not pose a threat to human structures.
Distribution and Ecology of Australian Termites
Termites are found in a variety of habitats across Australia, from rainforests to arid regions. The distribution of termite species is influenced by factors such as climate, vegetation, and soil type. Pest species, such as the subterranean termites, are more commonly found in urban areas and agricultural landscapes, while other species are limited to specific habitats.
Economic Impact of Termites in Australia
Termites cause an estimated $100 million in damages to structures in Australia each year. This figure does not account for the cost of preventative measures, treatments, and repairs. The most significant damage is caused by subterranean termites, particularly the Coptotermes species.
Integrated Pest Management Strategies for Termites in Australia
Integrated Pest Management (IPM