There are a number of different approaches to field testing wood-based materials against subterranean termites. In Japan, and in many tropical and sub-tropical countries, Coptotermes species present a major challenge for wood-based materials in service. In Japan, a method specifically targeted at testing wood products against Coptotermes formosanus is the "flower pot" method. The method consists of exposing a test sample place on a brick or concrete block on the ground, and with untreated feeder stakes adjacent providing a pathway for the termites from the ground to the test sample, in an area of known termite presence. The single sample array is then covered with an unglazed up-turned flower pot and left during the test period. It is useful to weigh the flower pots down with a brick or other weight on the top in order to prevent disturbance by weather and/or animals.
The method is relatively simple, but the unit cost is relatively high due to the single sample used for each array. Also, in areas of high humidity or rainfall, ventilation of the array may be wise in order to prevent mold development on the test material inside the enclosed space.
The standardized version of this test method is available as Japan Industrial Standard JIS K 1571.