Times up for Infestation of Subterranean Termites

21 September 1998

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is serving an eviction notice on an infestation of subterranean termites which have overstayed their welcome in a Matamata house.

MAF will begin the eradication process today.

Subterranean termites are known to cause extensive damage to trees, timber and wood products before their presence becomes apparent. The subterranean termite is not established in New Zealand.

The infestation has caused damage to the Matamata property and was reported to MAF by a pest control operator. An abandoned termite nest was found within one of the walls of the house. The level of termite activity suggests a secondary nest probably exists.

The Ministry will eradicate the termite colony to halt further damage to the property and stop the possibility of termites spreading to neighbouring properties.

The house and garage will be fumigated for 24 hours to MAF standards. The fumigation will be monitored and supervised over the 24 hour period. Following fumigation the house and garage will be ventilated and residue tests taken to ensure both are safe for occupancy.

An underground soil barrier treatment will be carried out around the house and garden periphery. In the long term bait stations will be introduced to monitor the success of the operation.

It is possible that the original source of the termite colony is from pieces of Australian hardwood poles that had in the past had been used for firewood. Infestations of Australian subterranean termites in New Zealand have been most often linked to Australian hardwood power and telephone poles imported into New Zealand. The level of termite activity suggests that the termites have been on the property for a considerable time.

Infestations of Australian subterranean termites have arisen from time to time in New Zealand this century, yet despite this are not established in New Zealand. The policy of treating such infestations when they occur has contributed to this desirable situation.

For further information contact:

Mark Ross | Regulatory Authority | Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry | ph: 04 498 9611 or 025 248 3296

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33