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Termites found in Nelson

24 February 2006

Termites found in Nelson

A colony of Australian subterranean termites, Coptotermes acinaciformis, has been found in a single property in Richmond, Nelson, Biosecurity New Zealand senior advisor Mark Ross said today.

“It is highly likely the termites arrived with imported Australian used railway sleepers more than 10 years ago. Current regulations require all imported railway sleepers to be compulsory stopped and fumigated on arrival at the border.

“The sleepers at the property were used for landscaping and it appears the termites have entered the house adjacent to the plumbing.” Mark Ross said.

“Biosecurity New Zealand is working very closely with the homeowners and local authorities.“

There is damage to some of the untreated internal and external timber wall framing and more investigation is underway to determine the level of damage and infestation.

The infestation appears to be confined to the one property but Biosecurity New Zealand is at the early stage of investigation and this can not be confirmed until further delimiting surveys/ trace back is completed. A delimiting survey is scheduled for late March 2006.

“These termites are the same species as those eradicated from seven houses in Otorahanga last year after a seven year programme. The current response is guided by the Otorahanga experience. This will involve placement of wooden monitoring stakes and sticky traps, implementation of the Sentricon baiting system and regular monitoring of the site.

“The Sentricon baiting system is the main eradication tool and is very effective at eradicating termites. The Otorohanga termites were successfully eradicated in May 2005. Eradication is possible, but will take time and need to be backed up by a trapping programme and other work. However, these incursions are long running and it might take several years to resolve this situation,” Mark Ross said.

New Zealand has three species of native termites. These are not considered to be destructive.

There are no other known subterranean termite sites within New Zealand.

If anyone notices any wood damage or unusual insects on their properties they are advised to contact MAF on 0800 809966.

ENDS

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