Are The Giant Darwin Termites On Our Doorstep?
Mastotermes darwiniensis, giant northern termite, Darwin termite or also “Mastos” as they are commonly called within the pest control industry are classed as the world’s worst termite and have also recently been claimed to be identified on The Gold Coast.
This termite was also only thought to have been located north of the Tropic of Capricorn. Therefore, This is big news. This species of termite is also classed as the world’s worst termite.
What makes “Masto’s” the Worlds Worst Termite?
- When given abundant water such as irrigation, food such as stored timber or timber structures and also soil conditions colonies can be enormous, numbering in the millions, quickly destroying their host.
- Its diet is varied, as it will eat introduced plants, damaged ivory and leather, and wood and debris, and in fact almost anything organic including rubber.
- It becomes a major agricultural pest, to the extent that vegetable farming has been virtually abandoned in Northern Australia wherever this termite is numerous, which it is outside of the rainforest or bauxite soils.
- Mastotermes has developed the ability to bore up into a living tree and ring bark it such that it dies and becomes the center of a colony.
- A large colony can consume 7 Kg of timber a day.
- It creates multiple nests and queens.
- Also, Standard termite barriers don’t stop Mastotermes
How to Identify Mastotermes darwiniensis.
- Much larger than most termites. Soldier length: 11 – 13mm.
- Found Parts of Qld and NT and now Gold Coast.
- Nest in dead and living trees.
- Also Extremely destructive to timbers within a 70 MT radius of the nest. Where there is also an abundance of food the colony will form sub-colonies.
- Hosts are all dead and living trees, ornamental and horticultural.
- Soldiers can draw blood if touched.
What Should I Do About Mastotermes darwiniensis.
If you live or own a property on the Gold Coast as part of general property maintenance you should obtain a termite inspection annually, It’s like serving your car. If you don’t do it you raise the risk of a breakdown. Providing you licensed timber pest specialists who are trained in termite identification and also termite ecology. Therefore, If you believe you have uncovered this type of termite call 1300 910 917.