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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A Comparison of Tunneling Responses by Field Populations and Laboratory Groups of Subterranean Termites (Isoptera:rhinotermitidae) into Termiticide-Treated Soil

item Chew, Victor
item Wheeler, Gregory
item Scheffrahn, R - UNIV FLORIDA IFAS

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Soil insecticides are commonly used to create a chemical barrier around structures to protect against wood destroying termites. These barriers are not always effective for a number of reasons, among them they are not 1) thick enough 2) applied in a high enough concentration, or 3) effective against all species of termites. Furthermore, some insecticides are better rat protecting structures than others. Laboratory research has attempted t resolve this problem by determining critical answers to each of these factors. However, laboratory results are not always similar to field results. This study compares laboratory application of the three most commonly used soil termiticides at a range of concentrations and soil depth against the two most common termite pests in Florida. The results suggest that the field data generally represent the laboratory results. Specific recommendations of target concentrations and soil depths are given for each htermite species and termiticide.

Technical Abstract: Tunneling responses by laboratory groups and field populations of subterranean termites into soil treated with one of the 3 termiticides, chlorpyrifos, cypermethrin, and permethrin, were compared. Due to the diver response exhibited by field populations, no statistical difference (P < 0.05) was detected between laboratory and field data for the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shirake, and the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar). The results indicated that the overall tunneling behavior exhibited by field population into termiticide-treated soil is essentially the same as that of laboratory groups of 80 foragers. But in some incidents, the threshold concentrations (the lowest concentration to totally stop termite penetration) recorded fro field populations were higher than those observed from laboratory groups.

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