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In Australia, we have both native and introduced species of termites that are destructive and require active management. Termite species are often quite difficult to identify, even for experts. Fortunately, knowing the exact species isn’t an issue when it comes to termite treatment. Below we look at different types of native and introduced termite species

Termite, alone on a piece of wood.

Types of Termites in Australia

Termites are classified into three ecological categories according to their nesting and feeding habits:

  • Subterranean – The most common type of termites, these mainly infest dead wood in contact with the soil, such as fallen trees and stumps, making their way into buildings through underground tunnel structures and shelter tubes. Subterranean termites need proximity to moisture to survive, making their nests in or near the ground where they can tunnel through to access moist soil or timber.
  • Dry wood – These termites live in small colonies, often inside a single piece of wood or an object like a chair. They infest both softwood and hardwood timber and can get all their moisture from the wood without relying on other water sources or contact with the ground. Colonies can grow for years undetected until the timber degrades.
  • Damp wood – These termites usually infest moist decayed wood in contact with soil or other sources of moisture like a water leak in a building. They most commonly infest timber that is outside, such as a log on the ground or a tree stump.

All three types of termites can be destructive, however subterranean termites are the most common when it comes to infesting buildings.

Destructive Natives

Coptotermes termites are a native subterranean species considered the number one enemy in Australia for invasive destruction. Found throughout the entire mainland, coptotermes species usually don’t build mounds, except in Queensland and other tropical regions. Coptotermes acinaciformis is the most destructive termite species in Australia and has even been known to cause fires by short circuiting wires.

Other destructive native termites include the mastotermes darwiniensis (giant northern termite), heterotermes ferox, schedorhinotermes intermedius and the coptotermes frenchi, C. lacteus, which are all subterranean species as well as the cryptotermes genus, which is a dry wood termite.

Destructive Introduced Species

First found in Australia during the 1960’s the West Indian dry wood termite is native to northern South America and one of the worst termite pests worldwide. As a dry wood termite, it doesn’t need to be near moisture to survive, can infest small, portable pieces of timber and can quickly displace local termite species.
Other destructive introduced species include:

  • Cryptotermes brevis
  • Cryptotermes domesticus
  • Cryptotermes dudleyi
  • Cryptotermes cynocephalus, Indo-Malaysian dry wood termite

Most originate from parts of southern and south-east Asia as well as islands surrounding the Asia-pacific region. However, it can be difficult to trace exactly where a lot of these species originally came from.

Contact Us for Termite and Pest Control

Do you have a termite problem on your property in Brisbane, Redland Bay, Ipswich or Logan? Get in touch with the team at Critters Pest Management. We use state-of-the-art thermal imaging to detect termite activity and provide highly effective and sustainable termite inspection and termite treatment methods including termite barriers.

Call our friendly professionals today on 1300 186 255 to make a booking or contact us online.