Recorded as a minor pest of sugar cane in India (check Wood, 1997).
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Taxon Pest Status
Pest status: Zootermopsis is not a serious pest, but can damage timber (Weesner, 1965). Edwards & Mill (1986) record both Z. angusticollis and Z. nevadensis in their list of termites known to damage buildings.
Thakur & Sen-Sarma (1994) record Stylotermes bengalensis as a serious pest of Oaks in the Bhowali region of India, with up to 70% of stock severely riddled with galleries and holes, making charcoal manufacture unprofitable.
Hill (1942) states that records are known of S. ruficeps attacking timber in New Zealand, but this is authenticated. Otherwise there are no records of the genus as a pest.
A serious pest of timber throughout its range. Coaton & Sheasby (1973) report a number of large scale infestations in habitations and wooden structures outside of houses. Also attacks young date palms, trunks of growing vines, the stems of standing dry maize plants, and dry stalks of millet.
In Egypt Psammotermes is and was historically a serious pest: for example, the Pharaohs imported termite-resistant wood for their mummy cases (Harris, 1970).
Only P. adamsoni is known to be a pest. It attack softwood posts and flooring, hardwood poles, house piers, bridge timbers and fence posts (Hill, 1942). It is of considerable economic importance as a pest of Eucalyptus, especially in south-east Australia and Tasmania, especially in the alpine forests of New South Wales (Greaves, 1962, 1965). It can potentially do more damage than other termites (such as Coptotermes) because it attacks sapwood as well as heartwood. P. adamsoni is rarely found attacking houses (Hadlington, 1987).
M. viator frequently invades buildings, usually those with walls constructed of raw brick and clay mortar. It does not attack wood, but will eat wallpaper, curtains, thatch. In addition walls are undermined by extensive galleries and tunnels excavated within them, and often waste material is dumped into rooms from holes in the plaster.
Pest status: the most destructive termite pest in Australia, estimated to cause more economic loss than any other insect species in the northern part of the continent (Hill, 1942). Can destroy: all kinds of timber, lead sheathing of electrical cables, bitumen, paper, bone, ivory (including billiard balls, Andersen & Jacklyn, 1993), horn, dung, leather, hides, ebonite, asbestos, jute, cotton and other vegetable fibre, silk, woolen fabrics, stored grass hay, sugar, bagged pickling salt, and flour (Hill, 1942; Hadlington, 1987; Andersen & Jacklyn, 1993).
There are no records of the genus as a pest.
Pest status: As with other Hodotermitidae there is some uncertainty as to the scale of the importance of Hodotermes as a pest of rangelands and cereal crops. Rates of removal differ due to variation in termite density, but Coaton & Sheasby quote figures of 274-3,170 Kg/ha. Certainly pest control measures have been taken against H. mossambicus (Coaton, 1958), but their effectiveness has been questioned (Nel, papers).