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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGY, DETECTION, AND CONTROL OF THE FORMOSAN SUBTERRANEAN TERMITE
2009 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Goals are to establish and coordinate an inspection and treatment program using available technology (infrared (IR), microwave, sound) for detection and commercial bait systems for control of the Formosan Subterranean Termite (FST) in the French Quarter properties included in Operation Full Stop and in selected City of New Orleans buildings; determine the extent of the FST infestation in the State of Louisiana to increase knowledge of FST biology and bionomics, threat to local communities, spacial distribution, and population genetics. The specific objectives of this project are:.
1)locate and treat above-ground FST infestations in structures and infestations in trees; coordinate treatment by Pest Control Professionals; and determine success of treatment with follow-up inspections;.
2)provide an evaluation of the effectiveness of treatment with termiticides by examining selected properties after treatment for the continuing presence of termites or signs of their activity not readily visible to a trained observer;.
3)provide the public information about subterranean termite distribution, control methods, and preventative measures; and.
4)continue termite surveillance and treatments as necessary along the river levee, railroad tracks, and other open spaces in and around the French Quarter and maintain and archive specimen collections for Operation Full Stop.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Objective 1: Consult with ARS and ARS’ cooperator, the LSU Agricultural Center, to select properties from the French Quarter. Primary emphasis for selection of properties, green space, and trees for inspections will be their proximity to active traps, alate and in-ground stations, complaints from property owners and proposals submitted by Pest Management Professionals that recommend spot or directed treatment (especially floors above ground level). These properties will be examined both internally and externally with IR thermography and other detection technologies as determined by NOMTCB to confirm the presence or absence of termites or their activity. Inspect trees on public property and treat them with commercially available bait systems when termites are found.

Objective 2: Consult with ARS and ARS’ Cooperator, the LSU Agricultural Center to examine a sufficient number of properties for statistical analysis that are selected from all properties included in Operation Full Stop. Selected properties may be from inside and outside of the treatment zones and may include properties with continuing infestations or properties with no detectable termite active after treatment with an approved termiticide. Selected properties will be examined both internally and externally with IR thermography and other detection technologies as determined by New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board (NOMTCB) to confirm the presence or absence of termites or their activity.

Objective 3: Determine the extent of the range of FST throughout Louisiana by means of light traps for alates and through survey of licenced Pest Management Professionals and Mosquito Abatement Districts. Provide instruction for FST identification and treatment to members of the Louisiana Pest Management Professional Industry and abatement district personnel. Instruction and materials provided are sanctioned by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry as part of re-certification for licensees and registered technicians.

Objective 4: Continue monitoring in open spaces (railroad, levee, parks and pavilions) in the French Quarter with in-ground stations and alate traps and when termites are found, a commercial bait system is used to control termites. Archive and collate samples of termites collected in the French Quarter and maintain a data base (File Maker Pro) of collected termite samples which are used for microsatellite analysis of DNA for determination of colony relationship and success of treatment.


3.Progress Report

NOMTCB continues to manage integral functions in support of the USDA’s French Quarter (FQ) project. We continue monitoring in-ground termite activity and alate (winged form) flight activity along the FQ riverfront. Riverfront alate data for the 2009 flight season indicates a significant reduction in activity with the lowest rate of capture since trapping was initiated in 2003. The elimination of termite activity from the railroad tracks, parks, planters, and trees along the riverfront remains one of the primary examples of the continued success of the FQ project. Termite activity in the 480 baited stations installed in the soil and rocks along the mile of railroad track and around the wooden planters on the levee flanking the FQ continues to be maintained at 5% of the pre-baiting, 2003 totals. Three hundred in-ground baited stations were installed around the buildings and in the gardens surrounding the French Market. Treatment of the French Market including the Flea Market, the Red Building, and the Joan of Arc areas was initiated in 2006. At that time, 90% of the in-ground baited stations around the Flea Market were infested with Formosan Subterranean Termite (FST). Activity in all areas of the French Market was eliminated by Nov. 2007. In 2007 and 2008, reinvasion in 1-2 stations surrounding the Red building was identified and eliminated. All stations removed during renovations of the entire Flea Market area in 2007 and 2008 have been reinstalled. A long-term monitoring/baiting program will continue at the site to maintain the termite pressure at low levels. Although a majority of Infrared (IR) inspections are negative, termite activity was identified at multiple locations in 2008 and 2009. Cooperation with pest management professionals and follow-up inspections by NOMTCB personnel have resulted in the eventual elimination of all detectable activity in each case. Solar-powered light traps and sticky traps were used to survey for FST populations throughout Louisiana during the 2008 and 2009 flight seasons. Active searches of stumps/trees, landscape timbers, commercial buildings, private residences, etc. were also conducted. FST was verified in 8 previously unconfirmed Louisiana parishes. Voucher specimens from each of these Parishes have been placed in the City of NOMTCB’s collection. This year, NOMTCB initiated efforts to identify areas in the French Quarter that, until now, may have escaped termite treatment. One such area was identified in Cabrini Dog Park located in the 900 block of Barracks St. Termite monitoring within the park revealed termite activity on the northern perimeter of the park grounds. The amount of bait consumed prior to elimination indicates that the colony which occupied this area was of considerable size. We continue to canvas for similar sites. Progress in this project is monitored through Annual FST Technical Committee Meetings, reports, regular meetings with cooperators, routine phone calls, and e-mail correspondence. More information regarding progress related to this project can be found by clicking the annual report link at nomtcb.com.


Last Modified: 4/20/2014
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