Australia’s Voracious Termites Are Now “Driven by Climate Change”

Essay by Eric Worrall

Termites were well managed by our ancestors, but in the wake of banning powerful insecticides like DDT, they are now apparently a climate problem.

Hungry and on the march as the climate heats up: Termites in Australia

By Frances Vinall
January 1, 2023 at 2:00 a.m. EST

TENNANT CREEK, Australia — In a forgotten restaurant behind a gas station in this country’s red center, only metal and plastic parts remain unscathed. Chris Cook grabs at a timber door frame, which crumples like paper in his hand.

“This has all just collapsed,” says Cook, a manager at Territory Pest Control in Australia’s Northern Territory. He eyes boards hanging in ragged pieces from the ceiling. Since he last visited the abandoned building three years ago, thousands of uninvited guests have been busy.

The destruction at Galaxy Auditorium restaurant at Wycliffe Well — a tiny highway stop calling itself the “UFO capital of Australia” — is the destruction that could lie ahead for many places on the continent unless Mastotermes darwiniensis can be stopped. These termites are the last survivors of an ancestral species that shared space with dinosaurs 150 million years ago. They’re voracious and relentless. And because of climate change, they, like their fellow kin, are expanding their range.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/01/01/giant-termites-australia-climate-change/

The article also cites a 98 author study which suggests termites become more active in warm weather;

Termite sensitivity to temperature affects global wood decay rates

AMY E. ZANNE, HABACUC FLORES-MORENO, JEFF R. POWELL, WILLIAM K. CORNWELL, JAMES W. DALLING, AMY T. AUSTIN, AIMÉE T. CLASSEN, PAUL EGGLETON, KEI-ICHI OKADA, CATHERINE L. PARR, E. CAROL ADAIR, STEPHEN ADU-BREDU, MD AZHARUL ALAM, CAROLINA ALVAREZ-GARZÓN, DEBORAH APGAUA, ROXANA ARAGÓN, MARCELO ARDON, STEFAN K. ARNDT, LOUISE A. ASHTON, NICHOLAS A. BARBER, JACQUES BEAUCHÊNE, MATTY P. BERG, JASON BERINGER, MATTHIAS M. BOER, JOSÉ ANTONIO BONET, KATHERINE BUNNEY, TYNAN J. BURKHARDT, DULCINÉIA CARVALHO, DENNIS CASTILLO-FIGUEROA, LUCAS A. CERNUSAK, ALEXANDER W. CHEESMAN, TAINÁ M. CIRNE-SILVA, JAMIE R. CLEVERLY, JOHANNES H. C. CORNELISSEN, TIMOTHY J. CURRAN, ANDRÉ M. D’ANGIOLI, CAROLINE DALLSTREAM, NICO EISENHAUER, FIDELE EVOUNA ONDO, ALEX FAJARDO, ROMINA D. FERNANDEZ, ASTRID FERRER, MARCO A. L. FONTES, MARK L. GALATOWITSCH, GRIZELLE GONZÁLEZ, FELIX GOTTSCHALL, PETER R. GRACE, ELENA GRANDA, HANNAH M. GRIFFITHS, MARIANA GUERRA LARA, MOTOHIRO HASEGAWA, MARIET M. HEFTING, NINA HINKO-NAJERA, LINDSAY B. HUTLEY, JENNIFER JONES, ANJA KAHL, MIRKO KARAN, JOOST A. KEUSKAMP, TIM LARDNER, MICHAEL LIDDELL, CRAIG MACFARLANE, CATE MACINNIS-NG, RAVI F. MARIANO, M. SOLEDAD MÉNDEZ, WAYNE S. MEYER, AKIRA S. MORI, ALOYSIO S. MOURA, MATTHEW NORTHWOOD, ROMÀ OGAYA, RAFAEL S. OLIVEIRA, ALBERTO ORGIAZZI, JULIANA PARDO, GUILLE PEGUERO, JOSEP PENUELAS, LUIS I. PEREZ, JUAN M. POSADA, CECILIA M. PRADA, TOMÁŠ PŘÍVĚTIVÝ, SUZANNE M. PROBER, JONATHAN PRUNIER, GABRIEL W. QUANSAH, VÍCTOR RESCO DE DIOS, RONNY RICHTER, MARK P. ROBERTSON, LUCAS F. ROCHA, MEGAN A. RÚA, CAROLINA SARMIENTO, RICHARD P. SILBERSTEIN, MATEUS C. SILVA, FLÁVIA FREIRE SIQUEIRA, MATTHEW GLENN STILLWAGON, JACQUI STOL, MELANIE K. TAYLOR, FRANÇOIS P. TESTE, DAVID Y. P. TNG, DAVID TUCKER, MANFRED TÜRKE, MICHAEL D. ULYSHEN, OSCAR J. VALVERDE-BARRANTES, EDUARDO VAN DEN BERG, RICHARD S. P. VAN LOGTESTIJN, G. F. (CISKA) VEEN, JASON G. VOGEL, TIMOTHY J. WARDLAW, GEORG WIEHL, CHRISTIAN WIRTH, MICHAELA J. WOODS, AND PAUL-CAMILO ZALAMEA

Deadwood is a large global carbon store with its store size partially determined by biotic decay. Microbial wood decay rates are known to respond to changing temperature and precipitation. Termites are also important decomposers in the tropics but are less well studied. An understanding of their climate sensitivities is needed to estimate climate change effects on wood carbon pools. Using data from 133 sites spanning six continents, we found that termite wood discovery and consumption were highly sensitive to temperature (with decay increasing >6.8 times per 10°C increase in temperature)—even more so than microbes. Termite decay effects were greatest in tropical seasonal forests, tropical savannas, and subtropical deserts. With tropicalization (i.e., warming shifts to tropical climates), termite wood decay will likely increase as termites access more of Earth’s surface.

Read more: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abo3856

Strangely our ancestors managed to build long lived wooden structures which weren’t instantly destroyed by termites.

What did our ancestors do differently?

I think you can guess from the image at the top of the page.

Termites can and are controlled by regular building inspections and five year applications of short term poisons. But if you want long term protection, there is no substitute for injecting DDT into the structural beams, and spraying the entire building with DDT.

It is not just termites. Where I live, there’s a nasty variety of sand fly, biting insects which live in the soil, especially loose sandy soil near beaches. But sand flies only seem to be a problem in some areas – mostly new developments which were built after DDT spraying was stopped. Old established areas of town, where massive public spraying with DDT was a regular event until the 1972, don’t seem to have a similar level of difficulty with sand flies.

Today Australians put up with mosquitos, horse flies, ticks, termites and sand flies, insects which simply weren’t a problem for our ancestors, who weren’t afraid to use powerful chemicals to make the places where they live comfortable and free from insect pests.

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Streetcred
January 1, 2023 6:08 pm

Wet and warm summers in Queensland breed termites like a plague. My house has been attacked so many times that we have an annual inspection and treatment bi-annually … and still we get them.

Dena
January 1, 2023 6:38 pm

Build with pressure treated wood and if for some reason you can’t, Copper Naphthenate can be used to protect the wood. We built a deck with pressure treated wood and use Copper Naphthenate to protect the ends after we cut the wood to size.
On the other hand, there is always steel frame which really takes the fun out of a termites life. I am not sure if it will work for these termites but for subterranean termites, there is a bate system that puts some really good cellulose doped with poison. The termites go for it first and never get around to the structure. Subterranean termites also need access to water so cutting off the water will solve the problem
Dry wood termites aren’t as aggressive so regular inspection and tenting when needed will keep them under control.

Gums
Reply to  Dena
January 1, 2023 6:54 pm

Salute!

From personal experience on the Florida coast and my parents’ home and neighbors in NOLA, the really bad termites expanded by leaps and bounds because they found a great habitat. Nothing to do with climate. Everything to do with many humans building houses and then the DDT ban.

The bad boys are the formosans, which don’t need to crawl down to dirt to get moisture…. They swarm in spring or early summer and then can land on your roof eave, mate and set up shop. New Orleans and one or two other Gulf ports had the things invade in early 50’s from wood that the far eastern places used for crates and such when the military came back from WW2 and Korea.

Anyone needing help should get with the New Orleans folks that have monitored and tried to eradicate the things. There are both procedural and chemical treatments no that did not exist 15 or 20 years ago. They have literally saved historical sites that might have been turned to dust.

Gums sends…

Duker
Reply to  Gums
January 1, 2023 7:25 pm

Yes. that sounds more like it. The Termites hitch a ride with humans to travel to other locations . Heard of ships rats as the termites will follow the highways – but they dont crawl!
For Australia they have cane toads moving south too by similar reasons

michael hart
Reply to  Dena
January 2, 2023 7:14 am

During a period in South Carolina my supervisor told me a similar story. Insurance companies hate houses resting on wood driven into the ground. Make the lowest 12 inches metal or concrete and the termites are equally unhappy.

Dena
Reply to  michael hart
January 2, 2023 8:22 am

Which is the reason that Creosote was used for many years in wood that comes in contact with the ground. Rail road ties and power poles are two examples you can easily find anywhere however you might find it on fence posts or pilings.

Steve Case
January 1, 2023 6:44 pm

According to Wikipedia DDT’s insecticidal action was discovered by the Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Müller in 1939.

Scarecrow Repair
Reply to  Steve Case
January 1, 2023 10:29 pm

The wikipedia repeats points which I am skeptical of, not because I think they are wrong, but because they have been repeated as often as the climate warming consensus, wikipedia has a reputation for undoing non-PC changes, and I don’t know where to find a good objective summary.

  • DDT weakened bird eggs
  • Rachel Carson said it was nasty
  • It’s a chemical, Oh Noes!

Can someone provide a good objective review of DDT? All chemicals can be dangerous, even dihydrogen monoxide; how bad is DDT?

Rod Evans
Reply to  Scarecrow Repair
January 2, 2023 5:47 am

Not many people know the main cause of death for people involved in fishing, both professional sea fishing and leisure fishing in rivers and lakes is that dihydrogen monoxide over coming them.
It must be stopped!!!

Christopher Chantrill
Reply to  Rod Evans
January 3, 2023 7:05 pm

Yes. We should all join together to fight the dihydrogen monoxide menace.

stinkerp
Reply to  Scarecrow Repair
January 2, 2023 10:16 am

Steven Milloy at JunkScience.com wrote extensively about DDT and debunked the many spurious claims Rachel Carson made in Silent Spring. This is an excellent summary with hundreds of references to studies:

https://junkscience.com/1999/07/100-things-you-should-know-about-ddt/

And specifically on egg shell thinning:

https://junkscience.com/1999/07/100-things-you-should-know-about-ddt/#ref6

DDT was far and away the best means of reducing malaria-infected mosquitoes and the spread of malaria, which kills millions of people each year. It was banned in many countries starting in the early 1970’s due to the backlash generated by Silent Spring but exceptions for “vector control” (malaria outbreaks) were made because policymakers (mostly) recognized there was nothing that was nearly as effective. However some mosquitoes have become resistant to DDT so other methods of treating and preventing malaria have been developed.

Last edited 1 month ago by stinkerp
Phil.
Reply to  Scarecrow Repair
January 5, 2023 10:09 am

As an agricultural crop spray it turned out not to be very good because the insects very rapidly developed an immunity to it, and given its various side effects was not worth using. It just takes a single mutation in one gene to confer immunity

Duane
Reply to  Steve Case
January 2, 2023 3:52 am

EPA cites the same date.

Maybe I’m getting old, but it wasn’t my “ancestors” who used DDT long ago – it was my parent’s generation that used DDT as an all purpose insecticide, particularly to keep mosquitoes down, as a kid. Its widespread use began after the end of World War Two, when millions of American servicemen and women were exposed to malarial infection. The worldwide death rate due to malaria peaked in the early 1930s, so it was a major health concern. A combination of treatments (such as oral quinine) and eventually insecticide application brought the death rate down hugely by 1940.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Steve Case
January 2, 2023 5:31 am

DDT was discovered (synthesised) in 1874 by a German, Othmar Zeidler, though he did not discover its insecticidal properties. This was made by the Swiss Paul Muller in 1934 testing another substance of his making, apparently unaware that it was Zeidler’s compound. Read the story in “DDT, killer of killers”, by Zimmerman & Lavine (1946), pages 30 seq. You can find a free copy in the archive.org ( ht tps :/ /archive . org/ details/ ddtkillerofkille00zimmrich ), please mind to deete the spaces in the link.

johnesm
January 1, 2023 7:14 pm

Wouldn’t the entirety of the tropical and subtropical regions of Earth have been devoured by now? I hear the same thing here about the pine bark beetles. No matter how cold it gets every winter in the Rockies, the “beetles are eating the trees because it’s getting warmer”. This story is on endless repeat.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  johnesm
January 1, 2023 10:13 pm

Yes, endless clown show, they say warming temps are allowing the beetles to thrive but it’s still awful cold for long stretches.

But it’s a good story

Peta of Newark
January 1, 2023 7:16 pm

People of Australia: Try not to worry too much – Australia won’t ‘get mad’

She’ll just ‘get even’

Drake
January 1, 2023 7:16 pm

I grew up in Tidewater Virginia, at the mouth of the James River. At the time Langley AFB have a major wing of interceptor F 4 jets, Fort Monroe was the location of the army’s TRADOC (Training and Indoctrination Command) and of course Norfolk Naval base and Oceana Naval Air Station and Norfolk Naval Ship Yard.

LOTS of generals and admirals.

At Langley, the Air Force had chemical spraying planes from the mid 60s until the early 70s.

They would notify the local communities of the days they would be spraying. They would fly so low they would hit the tops of the taller trees, leaving a well dispersed fine mist, that often covered me and my friends while we were playing. We HEVER had much of a mosquito problem. One year they just quit spraying, BUT TRADOC had moved from Fort Monroe, and other changes had been made to command structures so everyone thought that was the reason. We were told that the spray planes were sent to Egypt due to a Malaria outbreak. I wasn’t really plugged to what was going on then and don’t remember hearing about DDT being banned, but the timing is right.

I left the Tidewater area of Virginia for the desert SW in 1977. I was tired of mosquitoes, which from the early 60s when my family mover there till the early 70s had NOT been a major annoyance. Once in the early 80s I went home to visit, thinking I might move back. After bitten by multiple mosquitoes while standing in the sun in the early afternoon put an end to that nonsense. I really don’t like mosquitoes. AND it is nice living where I don’ t need to worry about ticks and fleas for my dogs or me. OR termites!

mikelowe2013
January 1, 2023 7:21 pm

Amazing what one degree of warmth over 100 years can achieve.

doonman
Reply to  mikelowe2013
January 2, 2023 11:01 am

Whats even more amazing is that the warmth talked about is a statistical construct known as the global average surface temperature anomaly, or GASTA. I can’t buy a thermometer that measures that.

Gums
Reply to  mikelowe2013
January 2, 2023 4:44 pm

Salute!

New Orleans native here and a few tours in the SEA fiasco. Somehow my family and I survived in NOLA with no air conditioning. No kidding. We had a whole house fan, period. Vietnam was piece of cake for this old c***nass. WX forecast was easy…85 deg at 2200 every night, he heh.

The formosan termite invasion in NOLA had nothing to do with warmer temperature. It was habitat called wood! Sadly even tho DDT was super for the basic subterranean variety, those formosans paid no attention to our concrete pilings on many houses, and they even infested live trees!

If I were concerned about termites, I would talk with some NOLA pest control people and even the city govment that deals with the historical sites.

Gums sends…

John Hultquist
January 1, 2023 7:54 pm

Termites ate my text. I’ll have to summarize.
Bull schist.

tmatsci
January 1, 2023 10:05 pm

Might be worthwhile to check the wood species of your house frame. Older houses in Queensland were constructed with local hardwood frames that is relatively resistant to termites. I do not know what is now used but it is likely that it is softwood plantation timber that is particularly susceptible to termite attack.

However, even hardwood is not immune and in the 1970s I worked in Townsville in a factory that had been constructed on a WWII military base.The office was a relic of that era and we discovered Macrotermes in the columns supporting the roof of the hall. Macrotermes are about 6-8mm in diameter and appropriately long.

I also recall reading that buildings constructed in the tropics often would be destroyed by termites almost immediately after they had been constructed. Probably an exaggeration but nevertheless somewhat indicative of the voracity of termites in the tropics.

By the way DDT was not used against termites. The commonest insecticides were Aldrin and Dieldrin which are quite toxic to humans. Also until the toxicity of these insecticides was truly understood, It was common practise to add Dieldrin to fresh concrete about to be used for building foundations particularly slab on ground construction. In modern times this is banned and termite protection for wooden frames on slab on ground construction is effected by packed fine gravel under the slabs covered with a fine mesh. Wooden baits are also used around the periphery of the slabs as detection devices and can also be poisoned as a deterrent.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  tmatsci
January 2, 2023 12:34 am

Sheep dip in the 1950s and 1960s contained Dieldrin. Sheep were dipped annually if my memory is right.
I think there is concern about soil contamination in some quarters.

Mr.
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
January 2, 2023 5:00 am

Cattle dips too if I remember my 1950s holidays on Uncle’s station.

Mr.
January 1, 2023 10:37 pm

It wasn’t just termites and sandflies that Aussie authorities used to spray, Eric.

Remember when a plane flight arrived from overseas and before disembarkation, 2 Customs jokers used to walk down the aisle with spray cans in each hand spraying all the passengers with agent orange?

(I may or may not have made that last bit up about agent orange.
But I’m sure the stuff they sprayed was just as nasty as a mRNA “vaccine”).

Capt Jeff
January 1, 2023 11:03 pm

I have always wondered why a mature forest is a carbon sink. While tree growth absorbs carbon, in a mature forest trees die and decay, producing CO2 as does leaf litter, all in balance with new growth and termites are part of that decay process. I would think a mature, old growth forest left alone would be carbon neutral.
Therefore, by cutting down trees then building and living in a carbon sequestration structure (aka a wood house) and protecting the structure from decay with paint, roofing, etc. and killing termites with poison such as DDT, we are loyal little soldiers saving the earth.
Plant a bunch of new trees is a bonus.

Ben Vorlich
January 2, 2023 12:41 am

In France, if not all, before selling a property the owner has to get an inspection by an approved surveyor. It covers a lot of things, electricity, gas, energy use, but also termites. I’m not sure if termite inspection is national or just areas with or under threat from termites.
Woodworm are also an issue treated regularly with chemicals

Ian_e
January 2, 2023 1:37 am

Glyphosate next!

Rich Davis
Reply to  Ian_e
January 2, 2023 5:08 am

Please, don’t get Peta started!

martinc19
January 2, 2023 1:52 am

Up here in the north-east of Oz, some areas of the coastal savanna woodland have more mounds than other areas, but there is no evidence of change in the number overall. The construction timber is mostly LOSP ( light organic solvent preservative) treated softwood. White spirit based solvent containing copper naphthenates and synthetic pyrethroids. Less toxic than CCA (copper chrome arsenate) but don’t stir your tea with it. There was an occasion when the lights started flickering in my street, and there was a strange smell, which turned out to be frying termite. They were eating the paper lining on the underground power line. 40-50 metres needed replacing. They haven’t attacked it since – maybe they learn ….

Oldseadog
January 2, 2023 2:21 am

Some primal termite knocked on wood,
And tasted it and found it good;
And that is why your Cousin May
Fell through the parlor floor today.

(Ogden Nash.)

Last edited 1 month ago by Oldseadog
ozspeaksup
January 2, 2023 3:33 am

Jeez Eric you LOVE toxic chemicals dont you?
spraying Cows and their fodder is insanity as pictured, great way to induce neurological problems
modern termite control uses natural fungi/moulds used as bait to eradicate the entire nest without risking pets or homeowners health.
as for the termites up nth yeah theyre an issue always have been and abandoned buildings are fair game
so are wood fenceposts etc if NOT treated with creosote
thats why we swapped to concrete railway sleepers and fenceposts decades ago. the doofuses bitchin about the wood eating seem to ignore the fact they turn wood into excellent soil compost and reduce fire risk by doing so in the areas we dont live in.
places we do- we now use METAL frames and lift the homes off ground so termite trails are visible, capped concrete stumps if theyre used etc instead
sand flies etc are seasonal and occur mostly in WETTER areas when its dry they dont breed up, and they need deadmeat of poop to do so hence sporadic events
theyre bad in SW Vic right now
last yr? nearly zero it was drought

doonman
Reply to  Eric Worrall
January 2, 2023 11:04 am

Actually, DDT shampoo is still the go to remedy for head lice.

rhs
Reply to  ozspeaksup
January 2, 2023 5:47 am

I live in Colorado, quite an unfriendly place for mosquitoes and we’re using a lot of concrete rail road ties. In this neck of the woods, it has nothing to do with termites and everything to do with long term maintenance, strength and stability.

rhs
Reply to  rhs
January 2, 2023 6:35 am

Should say unfriendly for termites rather than mosquitoes…

Hasbeen
January 2, 2023 4:47 am

I was in Rabaul New Guinea when DDT spraying was still the practice.
What many don’t realise is that DDT not only kills dangerous insects, but also on walls is an irritant so it makes them vacate the vicinity of the sprayed area. They sprayed all homes & business premises, inside & out.

We would get a notice advising when the spraying would take place, so we could remove all food stuff from the area to be sprayed. With the inside walls sprayed we did not even need fly screens, insects including mozzies simply stayed away.

The various clubs, such as the yacht club & planters club had an outdoor Bar-b-Que & movie night each week, with no insect problem at all. I have friends now in their 90s, who lived with this program for 25 years. That they are in their 90s kind of proves it did not endanger their health.

Mr.
Reply to  Hasbeen
January 2, 2023 5:10 am

So that spraying obviously kept the Raskols away too. 👍

George B
January 2, 2023 5:30 am

After the use of DDT ended in the southern US chlordane was used for termite protection. It would last for about 10 years and needed to be boosted after that. Older growth pine and cypress was fairly mostly resistant to termite damage. Most of the new chemical treatments only last a 3-5 years depending on moisture. Our termites are mostly subterranean including common US termites and now Formosan termites, illegal aliens joined us from the Port of New Orleans moved up from the Gulf Coastal areas.

We use generous amounts of DDT to try to eradicate the Brazilian fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) that offloaded at the the Port of Mobile

ResourceGuy
January 2, 2023 6:19 am

Is this another call for tax credits for the pest control biz?

michael hart
January 2, 2023 7:11 am

Too many authors to count. I estimate more than 100.

How I wish I was the editor. You send it back to them asking them to describe the specific contribution of each author.

Anyway, aren’t we supposed to eating termites for breakfast these days?

Phil.
Reply to  michael hart
January 5, 2023 10:35 am

The contributions of the authors are listed, it was a worldwide survey and the authors are from organizations from many countries.

Jeffy
January 2, 2023 7:16 am

Australians can fight back by eating termites.

Bruce Cobb
January 2, 2023 11:06 am

After a total restoration of our barn a few years ago, including all-new 1/2″ live-edge siding, I started noticing little piles of sawdust along one side, over a distance of about 10′ or so. It kept getting worse. Turned out I had an infestation of carpenter ants. Not as bad as termites, but can still do damage over time, in addition to the mess. It looked like more of a problem than I wanted to try to handle myself, so hired a pest control company to come in. Swept up hundreds of them the day after, and for at least 2 or three weeks after. There were probably several thousand in all. A small infestation I guess the guy missed cropped up a while later, but I was able to take care of that with a good dosing of bug spray. Darn climate change. Geeze.

ntesdorf
January 2, 2023 2:20 pm

We are outnumbered. The mass tonnage of humans on Earth is 316 million tonnes and the mass tonnage of termites is 445 million tonnes, nearly 50% greater. We need to get that DDT back.

Rick C
January 2, 2023 7:03 pm

The quality of a study is inversely proportional to the number of authors. I would note that the paper says “decay increasing >6.8 times per 10°C increase in temperature”. So that means for a 1°C increase decay would “increase” by a factor of 0.68 – i.e. decrease, right? Or maybe it’s non-linear and there’s no significant affect at less than10°C. Anyway, I’m not buying it.

Peter Meadows
January 2, 2023 8:12 pm

Sorry Eric, but with a lifetime in pest management in senior technical positions in both Rentokil and Flick I can tell you that you are way off the mark on current termite management.

DDT was never used in Australia, within the last 60 years, if ever, for termite control. Dieldrin, chlordane and aldrin were, but for ground barrier treatment only. Timber frames cannot be effectively treated by spraying and injection – termites just laugh at that, especially the Giant Darwin Termite, you can hear them chewing through the wood.

Present day termite management is done most effectively with insect growth inhibitors, either as ground sprays or baits. These materials, totally non toxic to humans as they work through insect biology, not toxicity, inhibit the growth of new cuticular skins after moulting. The workers die from dehydration, the Queen lays eggs that do not hatch and the whole colony gradually disintegrates.

Very few modern pest managers in Australia would dream of using conventional toxic chemicals, such as DDT (which is not registered anyway) to control termites.

Love your writings on climate, thigh, Eric – keep going!

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