Start Date: Feb 16, 2005
End Date: Oct 22, 2009
The Formosan subterranean termite (FST), Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki was introduced to the continental U.S. after World War II in infested materials shipped from the Pacific Far East. It has spread to 11 States since its introduction. It is estimated that the annual cost in the U.S. for treatments and repair is one billion dollars excluding the value of trees lost to FST infestations. It is estimated that the population size of FST in the New Orleans area alone has expanded 35-fold in the previous decade. These large populations are not manageable with existing technologies or treatment strategies. We propose that these large populations are most effectively managed using an area-wide strategy. Successful implementation of the area-wide approach requires the use of non-repellent termiticides or baiting systems in order to impact entire colonies. We will develop new area-wide termite management strategies using bait systems and through increased understanding of the nature of termite foraging. Increased emphasis on new area-wide bait deployment and targeting infestations hidden in trees will be explored. Furthermore, new detection technologies are essential in order to find the hidden colonies that somehow escape treatment in structures or infest trees and buried debris. We will investigate the insecticidal properties of the new non-repellent termiticides and improve the current bait technology. Instrumentation for detecting sound emitted by FST as it forages throughout its colony system will be developed and used to detect hidden colonies to ensure effective placement of pesticides for termite treatment. Effective techniques developed in this research will be integrated into an ongoing area-wide demonstration project in New Orleans' French Quarter.