Termites as Pests of Buildings

  • Nan-Yao Su
  • Rudolf H. Scheffrahn


Of the more than 2,300 termite species in the world, 183 species are known to damage buildings and 83 species cause significant damage. Subterranean termites, including mound building and arboreal species, account for 147 (80%) of the economically important species. The genus Coptotermes contains the largest number of pest species (28), whereas the genus Cryptotermes, especially Cr. brevis, is the most widely introduced. The world-wide economic impact figure of termites is uncertain, but the control cost for termite pests in the United States was estimated at $1.5 billion annually in 1994. Because of differences in their life histories, control measures differ between subterranean and drywood species. Insecticide barriers are used for exclusion of soil-borne subterranean termites, whereas slow-acting baits are used for population control of subterranean termite colonies in and near structures. Whole-structure treatments (fumigation and heat), compartmental treatments (heat or cold), and local treatments (wood surface treatments or insecticide injection) are the primary tools for drywood termite control.

Key words

Termite control termite pests Rhinotermitidae Kalotermitidae insecticide barriers termite baits fumigation local and compartmental treatments. 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nan-Yao Su
    • 1
  • Rudolf H. Scheffrahn
    • 1
  1. 1.Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education CenterUniversity of FloridaLauderdaleUSA

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