Subterranean Termite Activity on the Decline

18 April 2000

No live subterranean termites have been detected in bait stations or on monitored properties at Otorohanga five months after response measures began.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry response programme, aimed at eliminating Australian subterranean termites from a number of properties in Otorohanga, is producing encouraging results.

The original source of the subterranean termite infestation is thought to be hardwood power poles imported from Australia during the late 1950s.

In November 1999, three power poles were removed and replaced at Otorohanga, and up to 300 bait stations were installed in the infested area. MAF's expectations were exceeded when feeding in the bait stations was reported during the first inspection a month later in December.

Last weekend the fifth monthly round of monitoring was completed. No live subterranean termites or any new signs of activity were detected in the bait stations or on monitored properties. The only evidence of subterranean termites within the monitored area was dead termites and termite body parts in the bait stations where the termites had been feeding.

This is the second round of monitoring to reveal a total lack of subterranean termites within the monitored area. MAF plans to carry out a full survey of the 30 identified residential properties within the area in spring.

Historical evidence, taken from a similar subterranean termite infestation in New Zealand in Seatoun, Wellington, suggests that the Otorohanga residents' property values will return to the level of current Otorohanga district valuations when subterranean termite activity has ceased.

MAF is confident that it's management of the Otorohanga termite response is proving effective, and does not believe it necessary to take any additional action within the area at this stage.


Mark Ross, MAF Biosecurity Authority, National Adviser Forest Pest Surveillance and Response, Ph 025 248 3296 or 04 498 9611
Dr Ruth Frampton, MAF Biosecurity Authority, Director Forest Biosecurity, Ph 025 350 801 or 04 498 9639
Gita Parsot, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Communications Adviser, Ph 04 498 9806

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33