Canadian Officials Are Concerned About The Increasing Termite Presence Within The Country

Canadian Officials Are Concerned About The Increasing Termite Presence Within The Country

It is hard to keep the exact number of existing termite species straight since new species are documented regularly. At the moment there are around thirty one hundred species of termites inhabiting the world today, but very few of these species inhabit the relatively cold country of Canada. Canada is home to two native termite species as well as one well established non-native species. The two native species include Pacific dampwood termites and western subterranean termites. The destructive eastern subterranean termite is an established species in Canada. These termites are responsible for the majority of termite-related damages in Canada. Experts believe that the eastern subterranean termite was introduced into Toronto via shipping ports in between 1935 and 1938. In addition to these primary termite species, several other species have been found infesting wood products imported into Canada. For example, two colonies of Cryptotermes brevis have been found in British Columbia. One of these colonies was found infesting a wooden box that had been imported from Peru. The other colony was found infesting a wooden cupboard in Vancouver. These particular infestations did not cause much alarm within the country, but one particular termite species is becoming a serious concern to Canadian officials. This species is referred to as Incisitermes minor, or western drywood termites, as they are more commonly known.

In 1989 a large colony of Incisitermes minor termites were found infesting a home located in Toronto. The infestation was eventually eradicated, but Canadian officials are still on the lookout for these termites. Incisitermes minor termites are endemic in a few US states such as California and Arizona, but they have been introduced into many southern states where they quickly established thriving colonies. This termite species is considered a major pest to timber-framed structures in the western US. Since the western drywood termite resides in wood, where it receives much of its nourishment, it is easy to unknowingly transport infested pieces of wood to foreign regions. Since this has already occurred numerous times in the US, Canadian officials are worried that the destructive termite species will eventually establish colonies in southern Canada.

Do you think that western drywood termites have already established colonies in Canada?


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