The story appears on

Page A4

June 14, 2012

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Society

Hotline, subsidies tools in war on termites

THE city housing bureau is offering 24-hour hotline support to arrange for professional termite exterminators for local households plagued by the current outbreak of the insects.

The bureau said a government subsidy also is being considered to help lower the price for residents to get help. Currently, specialist termite control offices are mostly operated by private companies.

Termites have appeared in big swarms in many downtown districts since last Wednesday.

The outbreak is said to have been spurred by the current humid and hot weather, which provides favorable conditions for termites to reproduce.

Shanghai Housing Bureau said yesterday that people should call the 962121 government hotline to get emergency help. The hotline operates around the clock and will send for workers from the nearest termite control service centers immediately.

Not only old wooden structures are threatened. Reports also have come from many high-rises and office buildings as of last week, which is unusual.

Termites are most active now but the invasion is bigger this year, housing officials said.

"Green areas largely improved in recent years. New buildings are springing up with lots of wooden decorative materials being used. These factors together with a warming climate all produce a hotbed for termites to reproduce," the bureau said in a statement. About 15 percent more termites have been killed so far this year compared to a year ago. Termite swarming usually begins between middle March and early April and ends by June after they finish mating, the housing bureau said.

With many locals balking at the high cost of termite service and the problem worsening, the bureau said it is now considering a plan to provide subsidies for private termite control offices. Some charge 1,000 yuan (US$160) to 2,500 yuan for a single service. Meanwhile, the Chinese public traditionally considers measures against harmful insects a job for government watchdogs responsible for securing public safety.

Termites endangered 20 to 30 percent of local houses in the 1950s and 1960s, when the government authorities ran the extermination operations, the bureau said.

Effective pesticides were introduced in the 1980s, and termite invasions started to diminish locally.

Economic reforms during early 1990s caused the termite control offices to be turned into private business operations, the bureau said.

The use of less environmentally harmful materials to kill termites has led to a hike in the service prices, causing government subsidies to be seen as necessary, the bureau said.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend