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 Termites 
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Post Termites
A strange question perhaps, but I was wondering if ships ever suffered damage from termites. Has anyone ever come across a reference to them?

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susan


Wed Jun 23, 2004 6:38 pm
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Post Ants in Wood
Not about termites, but I thought I'd add it to the thread anyway. Marryat writes in The King's Own:

"I throw his [cockroach] crushed carcass on the deck, and observe the ants have made their nest in the beams over my head, from which I infer that the said beams are not quite so sound as they should be."

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susan


Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:15 pm
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I just saw this question and thought I would reply. Termites are strictly a terrestrial nusiance and need to go back in the ground in to stay alive. That is what I was told anyways. So even if the wood had termites in them during the costruction, or repair, of the vessel they would soon die.

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Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:09 pm
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Post Re: Termites
Came across my old post. From personal experience, I can say that termites do cause damage to ships!

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Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:23 am
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Post Re: Termites
susan wrote:
Came across my old post. From personal experience, I can say that termites do cause damage to ships!

Susan, could you add some details please. Thanks, Don

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Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:03 am
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Post Re: Termites
Hi Don,

I don't know how the termites would fare at sea, but they seem to do okay on a stationary ship. On Falls of Clyde, we have both drywood and subterranean types. They did damage to the figurehead in the past and are actively chomping away at the fo'c'sle deck and cabin wood panels. Fortunately, they can't munch on the hull!

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Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:32 am
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Post Re: Termites
susan wrote:
Hi Don,

I don't know how the termites would fare at sea, but they seem to do okay on a stationary ship. On Falls of Clyde, we have both drywood and subterranean types. They did damage to the figurehead in the past and are actively chomping away at the fo'c'sle deck and cabin wood panels. Fortunately, they can't munch on the hull!

Hi Susan, I figured you had some interesting details lurking behind your original post. Thanks very much. Now to continue a previous post...

bushman32 wrote:
I just saw this question and thought I would reply. Termites are strictly a terrestrial nusiance and need to go back in the ground in to stay alive. That is what I was told anyways. So even if the wood had termites in them during the costruction, or repair, of the vessel they would soon die.

In light of Susan's comment, it would seem that as long as sufficient food (plant material of all types, including wood) was available, termites might be successful at sea. For what specific reason would termites need to go back to the ground? Does anyone know?

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Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:28 am
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Post Re: Termites
timoneer wrote:
In light of Susan's comment, it would seem that as long as sufficient food (plant material of all types, including wood) was available, termites might be successful at sea. For what specific reason would termites need to go back to the ground? Does anyone know?


I think that's the case for subterranean type termites. They are the ones that build "mud tunnels" (for lack of a better term). In terms of availability of soil/sediment on a ship, I think it would be logical to assume that there would be some collected in the bilges (mud from anchor cable, dirt from washing down decks, particles associated with collecting shingle or other type of stone ballast, etc.).

In the Falls we have sediment that has built up:

Image
ripple marks by weeboopiper, on Flickr

Image
mudcracks by weeboopiper, on Flickr

So, lots of material for the "mud tunnels"!

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Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:53 pm
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