Potential of Natural Products and Their Derivatives to Control Formosan Subterranean Termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

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Twenty-nine natural products and their derivatives were tested for both contact and vapor toxicity against the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Five natural products at 0.5% (wt:wt) in petri dish contact assay caused 100% mortality within 3 d. In vapor form, only three chemicals (styrallyl alcohol, 2-phenyl-2-propanol, and l-carvone) at 0.25 μl/liter air caused >90% mortality in 3 d when tested on exposed termites. However, when termites were shielded by wood and soil, only one chemical, tetrahydrocarvone at 25 μl/liter air caused 100% mortality in 2 d. Preliminary test with termites in carton nests, exposed to tetrahydrocarvone vapor in desiccators, resulted in an average of 98.6% mortality in 7 d. With further development in the method of delivery, this chemical may be very useful in fumigating confined areas of termite infestation.

Keywords: Formosan subterranean termite; natural product; termiticide; tetrahydrocarvone

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC10229

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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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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