Asian Subterranean Termite (Coptotermes gestroi) Incursion

Publication Date
Wed, 09 Jun 2010, 00:00
Last Updated
June 8, 2010, 9:01 a.m.
Report Number
FJI-01/2
Country
Fiji
Pest Id
Coptotermes gestroi - (COPTGE)
Report Status
Final
Hosts
The Coptotermes gestroi is an agricultural and environmental pest. It feeds on timber, wood, plant roots and cellulose materials such as paper and cardboard. It prefers a damp habitat and will hollow out living or dead trees to build a colony below the ground and the workers will tunnel through the soil to nearby buildings in search of food i.e. wood and wooden products.
Pest Status
  • Present: only in some areas
Geographical Distribution
The Coptotermes gestroi is, so far present only in the areas of Lautoka in the Western part of Fiji. It is confirmed through the national quarantine surveillance that the termite is present in Saru, Tawatawa, Tomuka, Tavakubu, Vitogo, Natabua, Naikabula,
Summary

Coptotermes gestroi^^s incursion was detected in 2009 after reports of damage by members of the public. The National Biosecurity Authority officials carried out delimiting surveys in the beginning of 2010 to confirm the extent of spread and also sent the termite specimens to Australia for authentication after a preliminary identification in Fiji. At the conclusion of the delimiting survey and confirmation of the identification, a containment plan was developed to help prevent the termite from spreading outside the confirmed infested boundary and IPManagement strategies are also being finalized for control. Fiji Biosecurity Authority has stepped up their operations and surveillance at all borders and other ministries within the government machinery have also combined forces with Fiji Biosecurity to help in the containment response. An Australian termite expert is currently providing advice to the operation and will also be visiting Fiji soon to provide further advice and support on the ground.

Danger
Coptotermes gestroi have become a serious threat to wooden structures, homes, crops, trees and would cause considerable economic damage if not adequately contained. Whole and parts of wooden structures in homes and schools have been destroyed and safety of residence, occupants and school kids is an issue. Food security could also be an issue as cassava and other crops like mango and citrus have also been found to be infested with termites.
Report files
Website

« Back to Pest Reports