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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGY, DETECTION, AND CONTROL OF THE FORMOSAN SUBTERRANEAN TERMITE
2008 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 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 Louisianan Department of Agriculture and Forestry as part of re-certification for licensees and registered technicians.

Objective 4: Continue monitoring in open spaces (RR, 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

Riverfront Railroad: Our division continues to be an integral part of the USDA’s French Quarter (FQ) project. We monitored in-ground termite activity and alate (winged form) flight activity along the FQ riverfront. The elimination of termite activity from the railroad tracks, parks, planters, and trees along this portion of the riverfront is touted as one of the biggest successes of the FQ project. A total of 480 Sentricon® Stations was installed in the soil and rocks along the mile of track and around the wooden planters on the levee by the FQ. Foraging territories of detectable colonies were determined using a mark-recapture technique. Termites were collected and preserved in 95% ethanol. Colony identity, social structure, and colony relatedness were determined by microsatellite genotyping. From inception of treatment along the railroad in Sept. 2003 and around the planters on the levee in Feb. 2004 until Nov. 2007, there has been a 95% reduction in FST activity detected in the monitoring stations. French Market and the Mint: 300 in-ground Sentricon stations were installed around the buildings and in the gardens surrounding the French Market. The French Market was divided into 3 sections, The Flea Market, The Red Building, and Joan of Arc. Termite activity was monitored monthly and mark recapture was conducted to delineate FST colonies. In Oct. 2006, the concrete at the downriver end of the Flea Market and its bait stations were removed for renovations. The termites in remaining bait stations in the upriver portion of the Flea Market were treated. Treatment began at the Joan of Arc section in Nov. 2006, and treatment began at The Red building in Dec. 2006. Stations at the site were serviced monthly. The site was infested with both FST and native termites. There has been an 84% reduction in termite activity in the monitoring stations surrounding the French Market. 36/40 in-ground Sentricon stations around the Flea Market were infested with FST; the initial treatment lasted from Oct. 2006 thru May 2007, at which point no more termites were detected. FST were collected and preserved for genotyping in the future. Reinvasion has occurred in the stations around the Red building. A long-term monitoring/baiting program will continue at the site to maintain the termite pressure at low levels. The Flea Market is under a complete renovation and all bait stations were removed. Bait stations will be reinstalled at the completion of the renovation in the summer 2008. Current distribution of FST in Louisiana: Solar-powered light traps and yellow sticky traps were used to trap alates during the 2007 flight season. Active searches of stumps/trees, landscape timbers, commercial buildings, private residences, etc. were also conducted. To date, FST was verified in 5 previously unconfirmed Louisiana parishes. Voucher specimens from each of these Parishes have been placed in the City of New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board’s collection. Progress in this project is monitored through Annual FST Technical Committee Meetings, reports,regular meetings with cooperators,routine phone calls, and e-mail correspondence.


Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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