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Rapid Elimination of Field Colonies of Subterranean Termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) Using Bistrifluron Solid Bait Pellets

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The efficacy of bistrifluron, a chitin synthesis inhibitor, in cellulose bait pellets was evaluated on the mound-building subterranean termite, Coptotermes acinaciformis (Froggatt). Three concentrations of the bistrifluron were used: 0 (untreated control), 0.5, and 1.0% over an 8 wk period. Both doses of bistrifluron bait eliminated (viz. termites absent from nest or mound) termite colonies: 83% of colonies (10 of 12) were either eliminated or moribund (viz. colony had no reproductive capacity and decreased workforce) after 8 wk, compared with none of the control colonies. The remaining two treated colonies were deemed to be in decline. Early signs that bistrifluron was affecting the colonies included: 3 wk after baiting mound temperatures showed a loss of metabolic heat, 4 wk after baiting foraging activity in feeding stations was reduced or absent, and dissection of two mounds at 4 wk showed they were moribund. Colony elimination was achieved in around half or less the time, and with less bait toxicant, than other bait products tested under similar conditions in the field, because of either the active ingredient, the high surface area of the pellets, or a combination of both. This suggests the sometimes long times reported for control using baits may be reduced significantly. The use of a mound building species demonstrated clearly colony level effects before and after termites stopped foraging in bait stations.

Keywords: Coptotermes; baiting; chitin synthesis inhibitor; nest temperature; peritrophic membrane

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC09067

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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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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