D0498 Thermal damage to building materials by eastern subterranean termites

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Exhibit Hall 3, First Floor (Reno-Sparks Convention Center)
Compton J. Tucker , Entomology & Nematology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Roberto M. Pereira , Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Philip G. Koehler , Entomology & Nematologoy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Eastern subterranean termites, Reticulitermes flavipes, were allowed to tunnel into structural timbers, siding materials, and insulation. Thermal properties of the damaged materials were measured by heating one surface of the building product and taking a thermal image of the other side. Plywood (5-ply) was the most thermally damaged with a surface temperature increase of 74% (damaged vs undamaged). Isocyanurate insulation was damaged by termites eating paper-backed foil and excavating the foam product, resulting in a temperature increase of 27%. Structural timbers were penetrated by termites allowing heat to flow unobstructed through the sample, resulting in a 35% increase in surface temperature. With increased energy costs, subterranean termite control may be important for home energy conservation.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.36789