Distribution and Habitats of the Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in South Carolina

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The current distribution of the Formosan subterranean termite (FST), Coptotermes Jormosanus Shiraki, in South Carolina was determined using four survey techniques: a state-wide mail survey of pest control firms, a field sampling of trees and utility poles, a review of pest control firm treatment records for FST infested structures, and light trap collections. Based on sampling of trees and utility poles, FSTs were observed infesting utility poles and 17 live tree species. Utility poles proved to be a less sensitive indicator of FST activity than trees. Of the 18.8-km2 area currently infested in greater Charleston, an area of 11.6 km2 (directly surrounding the initial FST collection site) can probably be attributed to natural FST dispersal through swarming. The remaining isolated sites are probably due to introduction of infested material (i.e., railroad ties, plant material, etc.). The potential outcome of continuing current disposal practices for FST-infested material is discussed, along with suggestions to limit its future spread.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1988

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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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