Fumigation of Buildings to Control the Dry-Wood Termite, Cryptotermes brevis1

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Fumigation with methyl bromide at a dosage of 2.5 pounds per 1,000 cubic feet for 15 to 19 hours apparently eliminated all natural infestations of the dry-wood termite, Cryptotermes brevis (Walker), within 23 of the 24 buildings fumigated. However, considerable differences occurred in mortality among the termites exposed in wooden block cages within these buildings. The mortality in wooden block cages exposed in 18 buildings fumigated with this gas was: 6 buildings 100%, 4 buildings 91% to 99%, 3 buildings 51% to 90%, 3 buildings 11% to 50%, and 2 buildings 0% to 10%. On the other hand, sulfuryl fluoride at a dosage of 2 pounds per 1,000 cubic feet for as little as 1.5 hours killed all the termites in similar blocks. Ethylene dibromide at 2 to 3 pounds per 1,000 cubic feet for 24 hours failed to penetrate the wooden block cages in sufficient quantity to cause any measurable mortality. Furthermore, fumigation with this gas failed to eliminate the natural infestations in two out of five treatments. It is apparent from these tests that sulfuryl fluoride (eight buildings fumigated in tests) was far superior to methyl bromide and methyl bromide was far superior to ethylene dibromide. The use of sulfuryl fluoride should make it possible to greatly reduce exposure time, a great asset in the fumigation of buildings.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1960

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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