Termites that cause damage to houses, other buildings, furniture or other timber-in-service are either drywood termites or subterranean termites.
Drywood termites can survive and reproduce using only the moisture in the wood they feed on, so they do not need to have contact with the soil. One native species and four exotic species of drywood termite attack timber-in-service in Queensland.
The native drywood termite (Cryptotermes primus) is common in the sapwood of house stumps and sometimes enters flooring timber from there. In particular, it infests hoop pine flooring previously infected with the Queensland pine beetle.
The introduced West Indian drywood termite (WIDT), Cryptotermes brevis, is the world's most destructive drywood termite. It has caused considerable economic damage to timber homes in Queensland.
Three other introduced species of drywood termite (Cryptotermes, cynocepalus, C. domesticus and C. dudleyi) cause varying amounts of damage in northern Australia.
Find out more about drywood termites in Queensland:
- West Indian drywood termite - How to recognise WIDT, timber at risk and what to do
- Drywood termites in Queensland - Biology and damage, native and introduced termites that damage timber in houses and other buildings, inspections, prevention, professional treatment, what to do
Subterranean termites usually live in the ground and need contact with the soil or some constant source of moisture. They move aboveground in enclosed mud galleries to infest houses and other buildings. About 10 native species damage timber-in-service in Queensland.
The most damaging species are Coptotermes acinaciformis and Schedorhinotermes species (active throughout Queensland) and Mastotermes darwiniensis (confined to tropical northern Queensland and other areas of northern Australia).
Find out more about subterranean termites:
- Subterranean termites in Queensland - Colonies, nests, feeding habits and behaviour, natural enemies, distribution and importance.
- Subterranean termite infestation in buildings - How they infest buildings, prevention and treating an active infestation.
- Subterranean termite baiting systems - economic importance, baiting concepts, termite aggregation, professional baiting methods