2006 Annual Report
Currently, it has infested 89 counties in 11 states, causing at least $1 billion dollars in structural damage and control costs annually. Left unchecked, infestation of additional counties in lower states in the U.S. will increase by means of infested recycled wood and natural movement. Unlike our native subterranean termites, the Formosan subterranean termite routinely infests economically important hard and softwood tree species, making it a potential threat to our commercial and urban forests.
This project is part of the National Program 104 - Veterinary, Medical and Urban Entomology and addresses goals: 1.1 Identify Aspects of Arthropod Behavior Vulnerable to Control. 2.1 Detection and Diagnostics. 2.2 Surveillance. 3.1 Genomics and Host-Pathogen Interaction. 3.2 Neural, Sensory and Reproductive Biology. 4.1 Chemical Pesticides and Repellents. 4.2 Biological Control. Specifically, research in this research project addresses: 1.1.3 Characterizing the colonization behavior of Formosan termites. 2.1.2 Developing accurate, sensitive and non-destructive methods for detecting hidden population of ants or termites using applied physics. 2.2.3 Identifing and synthesizing host specific attractants and adapting for use in traps or bait stations. 3.1.5 Using functional genomics and other methods to investigate the social behavior and susceptibility to biological control agents of fire ants and Formosan termites and identifying and clone genes responsible for hormone production, detoxification enzymes and other metabolic products useful in developing new forms of control. 3.2.2 Characterizing and isolating pheromones and other social cues used by ants and termites in colonization and foraging. 4.1.2 Developing and testing novel means of applying pesticides and repellents that are more efficient, inexpensive and selective including the development of toxic baits, methods to bond agents to material and area repellents. 4.1.3 Identifying and testing new classes of topical and area repellents from previously synthesized or natural volatiles. 4.2.1 Identifying, isolating, cultivating, characterizing and test natural pathogens and predators of vectors and pests. Developing methods to enhance the specificity and lethality of control agents. 4.3.1 Integrating biological and chemical suppression techniques with knowledge of behavior and dispersion to develop and test large area prevention and control strategies.
FY 2005 (1) delineate Formosan subterranean termite infestations in Mississippi and neighborhoods (2) Delineate colonies in New Orleans’ City Park (3) Collect termites from termiticide treated and untreated sites (4) Characterize termite populations in treated and untreated sites (5) Establish a termite infested structure for non-destructive detection (6) Obtain sensor signals and analyze
FY 2006 (1) apply treatments and monitor infestations in infested neighborhoods (2) evaluate area-wide suppression strategies and continue monitoring (3) apply bait treatments in New Orleans’ City Park (4) assay toxicity of commercial termiticides (5) treat properties with non-repellent termiticides (6) attach sensors and analyze signals (7) improve sensors and processing
FY 2007 (1) apply treatments and monitor infestations in infested neighborhoods (2) evaluate area-wide suppression strategies and continue monitoring (3) apply bait treatments in New Orleans’ City Park (4) monitor termites and determine colony origin in City Park (5) evaluate effectiveness of area-wide treatments in City Park (6) establish field tests in areas showing termiticide tolerance (7) monitor termites surrounding treated properties (8) field test acoustic sensors and transfer technology
FY 2008 (1) evaluate area-wide suppression strategies and continue monitoring (2) apply bait treatments in New Orleans’ City Park (3) evaluate area-wide suppression strategies and continue monitoring (4) incorporate effective strategies into French Quarter treatment program (5) transfer technology to pest management professionals and municipalities (6) establish field tests in areas showing termiticide tolerance (7) monitor termite populations surrounding non-repellent termiticide treatment (8) transfer technology to pest management professionals (9) continue field testing acoustic sensors and transfer technology
FY 2009 (1) evaluate area-wide suppression strategies and continue monitoring (2) incorporate effective strategies into French Quarter treatment program (3) transfer technology to pest management professionals and municipalities (4) continue field testing acoustic sensors and transfer technology
Additionally, this report serves to document research conducted under Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement between the ARS and Cedarcide Industries.
Tests with various formulations of cedar extracts were conducted to determine if the extracts caused mortality or prevented feeding by the Formosan subterranean termite when applied to wood or paper.
Termites were provided either choice of treated or non-treated materials or in some cases were given only treated material. In some treatments, mortality was greater when termites were exposed to freshly treated wood or paper, but after aging the treatments did not result in significantly greater mortality compared with untreated control substances.
In other treatments, treatment of wood pieces resulted in more rapid death and reduced wood consumption when compared with untreated wood. It was concluded that even excess surface application of the cedar extracts to structural wood did not provide sufficient mortality to the termites or prevent termite wood consumption to warrant further testing. Other formulations of cedar extracts should be evaluated to determine their effectiveness.
Boopathy, R. and M. Doolittle. Paper entitled "Use of Natural Products to Control Gut Endosymbiotic Microbes in Formosan Subterranean Termite," presented at the 106th American Society for Microbiology Conference, Orlando, FL. May 21-25, 2006.
Cornelius, M.L. and W.L. Osbrink. Oral presentation entitled: Interactions among Formosan subterranean termite colonies in City Park, New Orleans. Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America. Ft. Lauderdale, FL. December 15-18, 2005.
Osbrink, W. and F. Guillot. Invited presentation of a paper entitled, "Effect of Katrina flooding on management of the Formosan Subterranean termite," for symposium entitled, "Katrina, Rita et al.: The 2005 Hurricane Season and its effect on entomology," at the 2005 Entomological Society of America, Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Meepagala, K., W. Osbrink, G. Strurtz, A. Lax, and S. Duke. Presentation entitled, "Natural Products against Formosan Subterranean Termites (Coptotermes formosanus)" at the 229th American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Diego, CA 2005.
Lax, A.R. Oral presentation entitled: Operation Full Stop: Implementation of area-wide IPM for control of Coptotermes formosanus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in New Orleans, LA. Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America. Ft Lauderdale, FL. December 15-18, 2005.
Fink, T., L. Gui, Y. Wang, Z. Cao, A. Jaiswal, O. Tahaineh, A. Kapoor, R. Hasse, A. Lax, and J. Seiner. Oral presentation entitled: Comparative analysis of head-banging behavior in Reticulitermes flavipes and Coptotermes formosanus using high speed-imaging and accompanying acoustic data. Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America. Ft Lauderdale, FL. December 15-18, 2005.