More commonly encountered in Hong Kong are subterranean termites. They are so named, as their workings are usually associated with soil. Subterranean termites make passage ways through the soil to reach wood buried in it or in contact with it. Above ground contact with food sources is made either through connecting wood or through earthen tunnels known as mud or shelter tubes. The optimum temperatures for termite existence are between 24ºC to 35ºC. However, they can survive in temperatures from -3ºC to 37ºC. Humidity levels vary according to the environment. Within the nest environment, the humidity level is nearly 100%. The Formosan termite has proven to be the exception in that it does not need to maintain soil contact but can exist completely separated from the ground. This ability to exist in such a way means that it is highly adaptable to many conditions and environments. Formosan termites have been found to exist on the roofs of high rise buildings and even in ocean going vessels.

« Back to Glossary Index