West Indian Drywood Termite

The West Indian Termite is an introduced termite species that causes horrific economic timber damage. They are not found in many places in Australia but Maryborough is one of them. There are 4 additional areas in Queensland where they are found including Brisbane, Bundaberg, Rockhampton and Townsville. If West Indian Drywood Termite is found in your home, the government will cover the costs to remove them.

 

About the Drywood Termites:

West Indian Drywood Termites or Cryptotermes brevis belong to the Blattodea family (along with other termites and cockroaches). Unlike other termites, drywood termites do not need contact with moisture as they only moisture they required, they obtain from timber. This species also does not need contact with the ground or any soil. The winged reproductive termites are attracted to light and found in mostly tropical areas due to humidity requirements.

 

Description:

Reproductives
  • Long transparent wings
  • Medium brown body
  • About 11mm long
Soldiers
  • White body
  • About 4–5mm long
  • Dark head which is plug-like and deeply wrinkled
  • Head is about 1.4mm wide

Why do they cause so much damage?

They have been named the world’s most destructive drywood termite. These termites cause mass destruction to structural timber and furniture leading to the weakening of the timber and possible structural failure or collapse.  They are easily spread from location to location and their presence can be very hard to detect. Damage caused by this species can be difficult to detect until the structure fails completely.

West Indian Drywood Termite Frass
West Indian Drywood Termite Frass

What to look out for

If you have or think you may have any signs of these termites, contact your local pest control immediately who can confirm their presence and report it within 24 hours to the appropriate Biosecurity officials. Commonly found in pine (especially hoop pine), maple, red cedar and silky oak. Generally attack construction timber and furniture. Watch out for black faecal pellets (called frass). Not to be confused with ant debris, drywood termite frass contains no fibres or parts of dead insects. Wood sounds hollow when tapped. These termites can spread through infested timber or by flying.

If you think you have a termite problem or are unsure if you have West Indian Drywood termite, contact us at Ivey’s Carpet Cleaning and Pest Control immediately on 4122 4148.

 

Extra (reliable) sources on West Indian Drywood Termites:

http://era.daf.qld.gov.au/id/eprint/3915/4/Drywood_termites_in_Queensland_2016_accessible.pdf

https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industries/farms-fishing-forestry/forests-wood/pests-diseases/trees-timber/west-indian-drywood-termite

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