Coatesville termite colony destroyed
3 July 2012
An incursion of Australian subterranean termites has been successfully eradicated from a site in Coatesville, Auckland.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has wrapped up surveillance of the site, five years after the termite species Coptotermes acinaciformis was identified in the house and garden of a residential property.
An investigation determined they most likely arrived with railway sleepers brought over from Australia in the mid 1990s, which were used for landscaping.
This particular species is an invasive wood pest, says Bruce Philip of MPI’s Plants and Environment Response Team. “It could cause significant harm to New Zealand’s forests, trees and timber structures if it established here.” Incursions of this termite species have been found and eradicated every now and then since the 1930s.
A treatment that specifically targets the termites was used at the site to control the infestation.
The live termites were eliminated by April 2008. The project then switched to a monitoring phase for the remainder of the five-year required period.
Mr Philip said the support of the local community was a great help in dealing with the problem, “this has really been a team effort and MPI thanks the community for their patience during this response.”
MPI is currently managing three other responses to this termite in Nelson, Pukekohe and Point Wells.
Anyone who is concerned about termites or would like any further information is encouraged to see the MPI website: http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests/australian-subterranean-termite
MPI works at three levels to reduce biosecurity threats to NZ: overseas - to stop travellers and importers bringing pests to New Zealand; at the border - to identify and eliminate pests that do arrive; and in New Zealand - to find, manage or eliminate pests that have established here.
James Sygrove, ph (04) 894 0255.
or Call the MPI media line: 029 894 0328