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Evaluation of Six Teclmiques for Control of the Western Drywood Termite (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae) in Structures

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Chemical and nonchemical methods for control of western drywood termites, Incisitermes minor (Hagen), were evaluated under conditions that simulated infestations in structures. The efficacy of excessive heat or cold, electrocution, microwaves, and 2 fumigants was evaluated. Termite mortality in artificially infested boards was 100% at 3 d after treatment for both fumigant gases. Heating the whole-structure or spot-applications using microwaves resulted in 96 and 90% mortality, respectively, 3 d after treatment. Mortality levels 4 wk after treatment increased to 98% for heat and 92% for microwaves. Spot-applications of liquid nitrogen at 381.8 kg/m3 achieved 100% mortality 3 d after treatment. However, for 122.7 and 57.3 kg/m3, mortality levels 4 wk after treatment were 99 and 87%, respectively. Mortality by spot-applications of electricity was 44% 3 d after treatment in the 1st test. Four weeks after treatment drywood termite mortality increased to 81%. In a 2nd electrocution test, using spot application techniques infrequently used in structures, mortality levels increased to 93% at 3 d and 99% at 4 wk after treatment. The distribution of termite survivors within the test building and test boards varied for some treatment techniques. For naturally infested boards, both fumigants exceeded 99% mortality. Use of heat and microwaves resulted in 100 and 99% mortality levels, respectively, 4 wk after treatment. Applications of liquid nitrogen resulted in mortality ≥99.8% at 381.8 and 122.7 kg/m3; however, mortality for 57.3 kg/m3 was significantly lower (74%). Mortality levels from electrocution were 89 and 95% 4 wk after treatment, respectively, in the 2 tests. Damage to test boards and the test building did occur. Six test boards were scorched during microwave treatment, 80% of test boards were damaged during electrocution, and visible signs of damage to the test building were noted for whole-structure heating. This study provides information for evaluation of the relative efficacy of fumigation and nonchernical alternatives for the control of drywood termite infestations in structures.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1996

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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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