WEST INDIAN DRYWOOD TERMITE
Cryptotermes brevis (Walker)
Article authored by Bruce Gow
Adult: Individuals of the soldier caste of Cryptotermes brevis are 4-6 mm long. Their cigar-shaped body is white and not sclerotised.
Head: The head is sloping and rough (phragmotic) and constricted behind the frontal lobes. Mandibles of the soldier caste are very short and broad. A fontanelle is absent from the head. Antennae are bead-like (moniliform) and as long as the head. Eyes are small and maybe reduced to a small number of facets.
Thorax:Adult termites generally lack wings. The primary reproductive caste have wings for the nuptial flight only. After pairing the king and queen discard their wings leaving scales. The wings of the king and queen are narrow, longer than the body and have few veins. The pronotum is flat without anterior lobes. All legs are similar in termites. The tarsi are 4-segmented.
Abdomen: West Indian Drywood termites have 2-segmented cerci at the apex of the abdomen.
Distribution:Cryptotermes brevis is an urban pest endemic to tropical America and adventive elsewhere.
Pest Status:The West Indian Drywood termite is regarded as the world’s most serious termite pest of homes and will often go undetected until timber collapses. The species does not produce a single colony but several small, independent nests in sapwood or hardwood of a single tree. A colony is easily transported and therefore there is a high potential of small colonies to infest small articles of wood. This species does not require contact with soil and exists on the moisture content of wood. Damage caused by this termite is difficult to detect until a structure collapses.
These are the High Risk suburbs!
Termite control and inspections in Sydney, Australia is particularly important in these high risk suburbs:
Castle Hill, Dural, Baulkham Hills, Wahroonga, Frenchs Forest, Manly, Epping, Carlingford, Winston Hills and Leichhardt.
Termites digest paper, wood, materials containing cellulose.
“If you’re sick of dealing with pests then get into contact with us and we’ll love to get rid of your pests!” – Bruce Gow from A1 Pest Control