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On Cardboard and Termites

question termites cardboard

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#1 Offline Nare - Posted August 6 2019 - 4:32 PM

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So I just had a colony of several hundred Reticulitermes flavipes die off after around a month in captivity (spoiler for next journal update), and I'm wondering if it's because I fed the colony cardboard. They were kept in a container w/ cardboard rolled up, the idea being that they'd live in and eat the stuff. The container was kept in a larger container along w/ other termite colonies, the larger container having a layer of water at the bottom to regulate humidity. Thus I'm fairly certain that environmental factors (moisture, heat) didn't kill the colony, as the other colonies in the same container w/ different setups are alive and doing well. So the only factor I haven't accounted for is cardboard.
 

I vaguely remember reading somewhere that someone (was it Vendayn?) warned against keeping termites in cardboard, because it can sometimes contain harmful glue. Does anyone else have experience w/ termite death related to cardboard? Or has anyone kept colonies successfully in cardboard setups?


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I keep termites - check them out! I've also made a guide...


#2 Offline drtrmiller - Posted August 6 2019 - 6:07 PM

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All cardboard cartons are glued.

 

About 15 years ago I had a colony of subterranean termites with a reproductive that lived in wet cardboard, and they lived for many months until I accidentally let the container dry out and they all dried up.

 

So while I doubt glue/cardboard in general are harmful to termites, there may some sort of chemical treatment or other explanation to explain your specific problem, if indeed the food was to blame.  Difficult to say, though.


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#3 Offline Acutus - Posted August 7 2019 - 6:52 AM

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If I were to give any cardboard or paper products I would make sure it's food grade. (if there's a way to determine that) For instance egg carton. My reason for thinking this is that many things could be treated to keep out pests, or even be oversprayed while treating for pests.


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Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva

Formica subsericea






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