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This page describes the three kinds of the termite species which are located in infestations around Australia, subterranean, drywood and dampwood, and also termite.
Termites are classified into three ecological categories according to their nesting and feeding habits: subterranean, drywood and dampwood.
Subterranean termites are the most common type of termite that are one of the most damaging pests and infests wood in structures. Outdoors dead timber is mostly infested by them in contact with the dirt, such as branches, stumps and trees. They prefer even though they can digest sound wood wood which has some degree of rust already, which makes it easier for them to digest it. .
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Subterranean termites need to be to survive, which makes their nests in or near where they can easily obtain moisture from the ground. They tunnel to get wood or soil and in seasons they float to achieve moisture. .
Dirt is used by the termites as a substance to build nests and shelter tubes, which are made up of wood soil, faeces and saliva. Some species construct carton nests above ground and construct shield tubes (also referred to as sand tubes) to connect the nest into the soil.
Foraging is dependent on the weather, with higher activity in summer and minimal action in conditions or winter . In tropical regions they could forage throughout the year, with peaks during warmer weather, wetter conditions.
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Drywood termites reside inside parts of timber, wholly in colonies, usually less than 1000 individuals. There may be several colonies like a piece of furniture inside a piece of timber or item. They could feed across rings as is normal termites, so that the galleries do not adhere to the grain of wood, but they are inclined to steer clear of heartwood.
Colonies can grow for many years undetected until the timber breaks or even the termites swarm. The alates, which would be the sole casts that leave the nest, may not be produced for years in a colony before the population reaches a critical point. They leave the nest to pair up and discover a site that is new to mate and begin a new colony, usually not far from the parent colony. .
Dampwood termites normally infest wood that remains moist because of contact with the soil or through a water flow in a building. They are likely to infest timber that's outside, such as a tree, stump or logs in contact.
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Dampwood termites live completely within the wood they feed and create galleries that are open. As with drywood termites, they may infest timber for years until they are discovered, which is most likely when the alates swarm from a colony that is mature. Swarming may occur with different species swarming at times, over several months.
If they're observed in a building they are an indication of a moisture problem. By removing the source of moisture they are minor pests and can be controlled in buildings. In live trees that they have a tendency to feed on rotting and dead wood.
Species can be tricky to recognize, even for the experts. Identification is dependent on the soldiers, which is the caste that has the features that were most easily distinguishable.
Of the insect species it is the Coptotermes species that are public enemy number 1 in Australia.
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The mind of the soldier is rectangular pear-shaped and yellow with darker, smooth mandibles that are thin. Body is left up to 7 mm long. It's easily confused with two other native Coptotermes species, click for source including C. frenchi and C. lacteus (Victoria Museum)
The soldiers generate a white sticky liquid from an opening (fontanelle) on the front of head when defending the nest from attack.
Coptotermes species do not construct mounds, but in other areas of Australia and Queensland. They mostly nests in trees, stumps, sticks, buried wood under buildings spaces, around homes and in walls. Trees for nesting are English oaks, various eucalypts and peppercorns. The colony is located at the root crown or the lower part of their trunk.
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Though Mastotermes darwiniensis is the more destructive locally across its range in northern Australia, coptotermes acinaciformis have become the termite species in Australia overall. C. acinaciformis strikes all lumber structures and obligations forest and ornamental trees as well as fruit trees.