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).
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Porotermes has an apparently anomalous distribution, in central Chile, South Africa, and southern Australia and Tasmania.
The Australian species, Porotermes adamsoni has been most closely studied. This species is found in decaying logs, as well as dead and living trees of Eucalyptus.