AbstractThe destructiveness of termites presents a challenge to everyone connected with forestry and wood utilization in the Tropics, as well as to the consuming public. On the basis of biological differences and methods of control, the West Indian species divide into three groups: The "nigger-head" nest termites, of which Nasutitermes costalis Holmgren is typical and most common, but commercially least injurious; the subterranean termites, of which Heterotermes tenuis Hagen is most destructive; and the dry-wood termite, Cryptotermes brevis Walker. Some of the new insecticides, more especially those developed by Julius Hyman, such as Chlordan, Aldrin, Dieldrin, and others, are exceptionally effective in killing termites, and the impregnation of susceptible woods with pentachlorphenol or sodium pentachlorphenate prevents attack so long as this thin surface protection is unbroken. But as all North American woods except the gummy heartwood of bald cypress and Osage orange are susceptible to termite attack, the foresters of the Caribbean area have a unique opportunity in pushing the commercial planting of endemic termite- resistant woods such as West Indian mahogany, Demerara greenheart, and others less well-known, as well as East Indian teak.
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