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Invasive Termites Have Been Causing Serious Problems For Australia’s Government

June 15th, 2018

Invasive Termites Have Been Causing Serious Problems For Australia’s Government

Most people are of the mind that Australia contains some of the most destructive and dangerous types of insects. This is largely true, as even Australian termites can be uniquely destructive. In fact, native Australian termites have even damaged diplomatic relations between Australia and other countries. It is not uncommon for native Australian termites to establish an invasive presence in nearby countries. Countries that are located in close proximity to Australia have experienced economic catastrophes due to massive crop destruction caused by native Australian termites. Even middle eastern refugees arriving in Australia have been forced to face the negative consequences of the country’s termite pests. It is difficult to overestimate the amount of problems that have resulted from Australia termite activity.

For several years, Australian officials have been criticized for the poor living conditions that refugees have been subjected to upon arriving in the country. Back in 2012, the Australian Government was scolded by other international powers for housing refugees in termite infested timber framed buildings. The refugee shelter is still located on Los Negros Island, which is a province of Papua New Guinea. Engineers and reporters at the time claimed that the many structures located on the island had become unlivable. One engineer claimed that thirty to forty buildings in the refugee camp had extensive termite infestations. Although Australian politicians at the time passed legislation that would have seen hundreds of millions of dollars spent on new shelters within the camp, the camp’s conditions remain termite infested to this day. This is not the first time that Australian termites established an invasive presence in Papua New Guinea.

Shortly after World War Two ended the Australian mastoterme termite species was found on Papua New Guinea. This termite has been destroying cocoa, coffee and timber plantations on Papua New Guinea for decades. It was believed that the termite pest species had been eradicated from the island country in 1970, but it appeared years later in a small area. Despite the termites only inhabiting a small area no larger than one square kilometer, the destructive termites still managed to destroy part of a hospital. Today, officials in Papua New Guinea believe that they have the invasive termite species under control.

Do you believe that termite control experts should focus their energies on sea ports where invasive termite species have been known to arrive in foreign countries?

 

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