Termites Threaten Economic Stability In Hundreds Of Countries All Over The World
Termites cannot get enough cellulose, and many of them do not mind eating-away at live plants and trees in order to get their fix. Termites do not pose a significant threat to crops within the United States, but in some countries termites are more of a threat to crops than they are to man-made structures. This is especially true in agrarian countries where agriculture is the largest sector of the economy. In the majority of countries termites are either considered secondary or primary crop pests. Most of the time termites are considered secondary pests. However, this does not necessarily mean that termites are less damaging to plants than primary insect pests.
Secondary pests only damage plants that have already been compromised by primary pests or environmental conditions. For example, some primary insect pests may drill holes into plant stems or vines. This is damaging enough to plant life, but then termites move in to cause further damage. Reproductive termites will locate these damaged plants while swarming. The reproductives enter the wounds of compromised plant stems or vines in order to start a new colony. Once a termite colony begins to grow within these plants, the entire stock will snap under the weight of the growing termite colony, thus destroying the plant. This is why termites cannot be dismissed as unimportant insect pests. In most cases, primary insect pests do not inflict enough damage on plants to kill them. It is actually the damage inflicted by secondary pests that ends up giving the final blow.
Termites are especially damaging to cacao plantations located within several African countries. In Zanzibar termites directly attack the seedlings in clove plantations, and the seedlings of coconut palms are destroyed by termites directly. Coconut seedlings are consumed by subterranean termites, while mature palms are killed by drywood termites. Termite damage to palm trees is most prevalent in Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Nigeria. Coffee and Sugarcane crops located in African, Asian, Middle Eastern and South American countries are also attacked regularly by termites. In Arab and African countries termites often infest cotton crops. Luckily, American cotton crops are not vulnerable to termites, but the reason for this is not exactly known. Even fully developed and industrialized countries, like Japan, contain crops that are attacked ruthlessly by termites. Japanese agricultural officials often find large termite populations within batches of pre-processed rice. Termites also attack a multitude of different trees, but eucalyptus is highly prized by termites. Not long ago, a housing developer used eucalyptus for landscaping people’s homes. Unfortunately, this eucalyptus only invited several termite infestations onto the property. Relatively speaking, the United States may see the least amount of damaging termite activity.
Do you believe that a non-native species of termite will be introduced into America at some point in the future?