Termite Identification – Coptotermes Termites
This is a recent email that came through via our Termite Identification page
Found these in the backyard under a piece of old fencing hardwood.
I had it over for about 30 sec and put it back.
Do you think I can bait it?
From my experience, even after only 30 seconds, the damage to the mud sealing the wood to the ground is too much for them to repair so they leave it and come back weeks later.
If you can find another piece and can get into their workings from the top and then add the bait you could be OK.
However, I’d like another photo of a soldier (brown head). It looked suspiciously like one of the nuisance termites the Heterotermes… But, it could be a Coptotermes which are serious.
Let me know how you goIon
I took a few more photos, do these help? This is 3.5hrs later under the same piece of wood, but there were fewer around and if they weren’t annoyed enough by the first disruption they probably are now!
There is another piece of the same type of wood lying nearby. I carefully had a look and saw a few termites under it, but not as many as the first piece. Would that be suitable to bait, or should I set up a new baiting station?
I have the old baiting stations, the tall cylinders that stand up with the clear lids, although they haven’t had any termites yet.
You could get a job as a wildlife photographer!
This time, I am certain these are the Coptotermes and they are probably wild about being deprived of their food and cover. However, they are not as shy as some of the other species and will probably be back!
Here’s a challenge for you: turn over the original fencing timber and see if you can find where they disappear into the soil. they may have already sealed the hole but you may be able to spot it.
If you find it, open it carefully with a small pointed knife, like a surgeon, and if you’ve picked it right, it won’t be more than a couple of minutes before you see heads blocking the hole. You can make several guesses because if you pick the wrong spots, there is no harm done until you get the right spot.
If you find the tunnel entrance, place an upside-down tub of bait over that hole and push the edge of the tub into the soil to help them seal it. If it is a storey, get some fine soil/potting mix and build it up around the tunnel so the upside down tunnel seals to the new soil which seals the gaps between the stones.
Then come back in 2-3 weeks to check.
Remember the principle: they want to eat the bait in an area which is enclosed, safe and controlled humidity. If it is out in the blazing sun, cover with a couple of palm leaves or similar.
Don’t go shifting the termitraps to the area, you may dig right where their hole is going back toward the nest and if you sever a tunnel from the site where you are feeding them, all your effort will be wasted.