Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: AREA-WIDE STRATEGIES FOR MANAGEMENT OF FORMOSAN SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES Title: "effect of Bait Supplements on the Feeding and Tunneling Behavior of the Formosan Subterranean Termite (Isoptera: RHINOTERMITIDAE)."

Author
item Cornelius, Mary

Submitted to: International Conference on Urban Pests
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 20, 2005
Publication Date: April 20, 2005
Citation: Cornelius, M.L. "Effect of bait supplements on the feeding and tunneling behavior of the formosan subterranean termite (isoptera: rhinotermitidae)." International Conference on Urban Pests pp. 159-163. In C-Y Lee and W.H.Robinson (eds), Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Urban Pests, Singapore.

Interpretive Summary: This study evaluated the effect of two commercially available products that have been used to supplement bait stations on the feeding and tunneling behavior of the Formosan subterranean termite. An experiment conducted to examine the effect of water soluble chemicals extracted from SummonTM disks on tunneling behavior. Due to the influence of water soluble components of Summon, the average number of days taken for termites to discover pipette tips filled with material from ground-up SummonTM disks was significantly less than the average number of days taken for termites to discover pipette tips filled with red oak sawdust. Feeding and tunneling tests were conducted to determine how termites responded to the sports drink, Gatorade, which is currently being used to increase discovery and retention of termites at Sentricon bait stations. Paired choice tests were also conducted to compare the effect of Gatorade and water extracts of SummonTM disks on feeding and tunneling behavior. There was no difference in the consumption of filter paper disks treated with Gatorade versus filter paper disks treated with water only and there was significantly greater consumption of filter paper disks treated with a water extract of SummonTM disks versus filter paper disks treated with Gatorade. In paired choice tests, termites tunneled through sand moistened with water faster than through sand moistened with Gatorade and through sand moistened with a water extract of SummonTM disks faster than through sand moistened with Gatorade. In this study, SummonTM disks showed more promise than Gatorade as an effective bait supplement for Formosan subterranean termites. This research will benefit both the pest control industry and the consumer by providing information that may lead to the development of more effective baits for termite control.

Technical Abstract: This study evaluated the effect of two commercially available products that have been used to supplement bait stations on the feeding and tunneling behavior of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. A bioassay was conducted to examine the effect of water soluble chemicals extracted from SummonTM disks on tunneling behavior. The average number of days taken for termites to discover pipette tips filled with material from ground-up SummonTM disks was significantly less than the average number of days taken for termites to discover pipette tips filled with red oak sawdust. Feeding and tunneling tests were conducted to determine how termites responded to the sports drink, Gatorade, which is currently being used to increase discovery and retention of termites at Sentricon bait stations. Paired choice tests were also conducted to compare the effect of Gatorade and water extracts of SummonTM disks on feeding and tunneling behavior. There was no difference in the consumption of filter paper disks treated with Gatorade versus filter paper disks treated with water only and there was significantly greater consumption of filter paper disks treated with a water extract of SummonTM disks versus filter paper disks treated with Gatorade. In paired choice tests, termites tunneled through sand moistened with water faster than through sand moistened with Gatorade and through sand moistened with a water extract of SummonTM disks faster than through sand moistened with Gatorade. In this study, SummonTM disks showed more promise than Gatorade as an effective bait supplement for Formosan subterranean termites.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page