4 Jun 2010

Fiji developing bio control to stop termites

1:26 pm on 4 June 2010

Fiji agricultural scientists are developing a biological control to deal with a termite infestation in the second biggest city, Lautoka.

The infestation by a sub species of termite found in Australia and Asia but new to Fiji has spread to about 560 houses and 16 schools in the outer, hillier areas of Lautoka.

The Minister of Primary Industries says the forestry research division is about two weeks away from releasing a fungus that can grow in termite tunnels and kills the insects through contamination.

Joe Cokanasiga says the plan is to use the biological control in conjunction with a chemical expected to arrive from Australia next week.

"We're going to use them both simultaneously so that by then we will be able to say definitely which of the two would have the most effective method of control. I'm hoping, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the biological control will be the better option but we can only wait and see how it works in the field trials."

Joe Cokanasiga says the termite isn't a threat to other parts of Fiji because it doesn't do well on the plains.