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A Contribution of ICAR National Fellow Project

दीमक से बचाव के लिए देशी तकनीकPopularising the Termitexpert web-portal

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Termite damage in public places
 (Libraries, archives, museums, official buildings and premises including banks, cultural and worship places)

Apart from attacking residential buildings, termites infest many other common constructions such as, temples, banks, libraries, schools, museums etc. Under ambit of National Fellow Project, field survey reported termite attack from various museums and libraries through the country. Banks are often infested by termites, notable instance of such has been recorded from Uttar Pradesh, India where termites grabbed millions of currency inside safety locker (link: http://www.news18.com/news/india/termites-eat-up-millions-of-rupees-in-bank-366929.html). Same example was sited from Bihar in 2008 also. Achieves and libraries are also reported to suffer loss due to termite attack in various parts of India. Field study under National Fellow Project in states like Rajasthan, Haryana, Tamilnadu, Puduchhery etc. revealed termite attack in wooden structures and display items in museums which took big toll on priceless ethnic collections of olden days. Drywood and subterranean termites play major role in such cases. Termites belonging to genera Cryptotermes and Kalotermes make tunnel in wooden structure and attack stacks of books and papers, whereas, subterranean termite genera Reticulitermes, Coptotermes and Macrotermes are found to infest through soil and/or trees.

Management:

 

  • Treatment of all wooden structures and poles with recommended termiticides and destruction of all termite galleries detected inside or outside the construction.
  • Maintaining hygiene in storage of books and other termitophilic things in libraries, museums etc. and keeping those items away from wall and floor.
  • Repairing floors and walls of libraries, museums and such types of buildings so as to remove any crack.
  • Treatment with coaltar and creosote mixture (1: 2 ratio) or phenyl is advised.
  • Wooden items can be brush coated all over with chlophenol-napthalene-petrolium mixture (1:1:40, 2 coats) or hot coal tar.

Termite infestation in National Parks, heritage sites etc.

Many olden heritage buildings, worship places are often reported to be infested by termites around the world which leads to enormous economic and cultural loss. Various landscapes and forested areas viz. zoos, national parks etc are also under attack of termites. Research team of National Fellow Project reported termite infestation from many national parks and heritage sites throughout India. Termites are reported to cast destructive effect from mangrove forests at Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha up to Keoladeo National Park at Rajasthan, which clearly gives their extreme range of thriving in extreme climates. In United States of America, old oak trees, adding beauty to the avenues were reported to be attacked by Formosan subterranean termite Coptotermes forsanus.

Termites affecting timber-in-service and their management

Relationship between termites and wood is in centre of discussion since ancient times. On infestation of a construction by termites, major loss is being suffered by the wooden parts. Noteworthy, healthy wood also sometimes become susceptible to termites. Wood destroying termites are categorized by renowned termitologist M. L. Roonwal into two categories, one which resides inside the wood and decay it and another type of termites attack wood and destroy it without establishing colony inside. Wood damaging termites are of interest in scientific community in India since long. Many eminent scientists have extended extensive works on diversity, distribution and management of wood destroying termites.

Management:

  • Usage of naturally durable wood has been recommended by experts.
  • Use of chemical wood preservatives minimizes the chance of infestation by wood destroying termites.
  • Chemical preservatives Terminator A, Terminator B and Terminator V have been recommended by Institute of Wood Science and Technology, Bangalore to combat termite attack on wood.
  • Plant-based termiticides are good options for wood preservation as they lower the environmental hazard.

  
Termite ravaged wooden articles 
Termite eaten journals in a journal office in Delhi


Last Updated: 04-01-2020

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