Factors That Influence Infestation By Termites

Coptotermes are more abundant in coastal areas, thus, such areas would pose a higher risk of infestations. Housing projects developed on land long occupied by scrub (belukar) or ex-tin-mining land are at a much lower risk of having termite problems than those built up on former plantation tree areas. Coptotermes curvignathus, which kills trees, can be a serious problem in former peat swamp area.

Wood can contain chemical compounds that deter termite feeding. A well know example of resistant timber is chengal, the wood of Neobalanocarpus heimii. The density of the wood has little or no bearing on its palatability to termites. However, very dense wood takes longer for termites to undermine and would, therefore, last longer than equally palatable wood under the same conditions.

Host preferences occur in Coptotermes curvignathus, and a number of tree species, such as pines, have been shown to be very susceptible to termite attack. The management of trees is also important. Trees that are unhealthy or injured may be more prone to attack. Undressed pruning wounds can be sources of entry into the heartwood of certain tress.

Good construction practices minimize the risk of termites entering buildings. Beams should be supported on concrete blocks rather than buried in the ground. Cracks that appear in the building after construction, or after the building of extensions, provide access route for the termites into houses. Leaks in the building can also encourage infestations and even provide the water necessary for an above ground nest in the building itself.