Detecting and identifying West Indian drywood termite
West Indian drywood termite (WIDT) is difficult to detect as it can establish colonies in concealed areas of houses and buildings.
WIDT does not need contact with soil moisture and can establish independent colonies within a structure. These colonies can be very small and hard to detect because the openings to galleries become sealed with faecal pellets known as frass.
It can take around 5 years (or even longer) for WIDT to be detectable. The signs of infestation include:
- frass appearing in the corners of rooms
- termites and/or wings appearing in rooms after storms in late spring or early summer.
Timber close to the frass pile will have a small ejection hole (1mm diameter), but this may be sealed and difficult to see.
WIDT is commonly found in pine (especially hoop pine) and in cabinet woods such as maples (Flindersia species), red cedar (Toona australis) and silky oak (Grevillea robusta).
Damage is generally restricted to construction timber, wooden furniture and relocated houses. WIDT is not known to occur in the wild in countries where it has been introduced (outside its natural range in Central and South America).
See images and learn more in our quick reference guide to WIDT.
Detections of West Indian drywood termite in Queensland
WIDT was first detected in Maryborough in 1966. It is now established in many suburbs in Greater Brisbane and in other Queensland coastal towns and settlements.
All Queensland residents should be aware of the presence of WIDT.
Confirmed WIDT detections
WIDT infestations have been detected in the following Queensland regions since 2011:
- South East Queensland
- Wide Bay Burnett
- Central Queensland
- North Queensland
The suburbs affected in these regions are listed below.
- Albany Creek
- Brisbane City
- Dutton Park
- East Brisbane
- Eight Mile Plains
- Fig Tree Pocket
- Kangaroo Point
- Kelvin Grove
- Nudgee Beach
- Redbank Plains
- Red Hill
- St Lucia
- Upper Brookfield
- West End
- Bundaberg Central Business District
- Maryborough Central Business District
- Agnes Waters
- Park Avenue
- Railway Estate
- North Ward
This information is based on the known detections of WIDT (Cryptotermes brevis) that have been reported and confirmed by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) since 2011. This list may change and DAF will make regular updates to this information if new detections are reported.
Find out how to report suspected WIDT detections.
- Last reviewed: 24 Mar 2022
- Last updated: 24 Mar 2022