General Information about Termites (5)
Factors encouraging Termite Attack and Control of Termites

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Factors encouraging Termite Attack

Conditions that put trees under stress are mostly man-made and are the result of poor silvicultural operations. Stress can also be caused by fire, cattle and other pests. In general all actions that decrease the natural resistance of the trees encourage termite attack:

Control of Termites

There are several approaches to control termites, however none of the efforts is efficient and suitable enough to eradicate established termite colonies in a plantation. Certain problems related to the development of chemical and biological control strategies exist and have yet to be solved. Termites live well hidden in the wood of a tree or in the soil and their galleries are perfectly sealed off. Therefore it is difficult for an insecticide or a biocontrol agent to reach the termites in their colony. Attempts to introduce pathogens or to apply insecticides usually fail, because the termites block off the contaminated area of their nest. The only effective remedy to the termite problem is to prevent termite attack. Since weakened trees more likely to become the target of a termite attack than healthy ones, the main goal of silviculture should be to maintain the trees in a healthy condition. Any operations in the plantation have to be carried out thoroughly and in such a way that stress and the damage to residual trees are minimised as much as possible. Preventive measures are a long-term exercise to avoid termite attack but are not a suitable cure for any existing termite problems. Control strategies are:

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Michael F. Schneider, 1999