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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Subterranean Termite Foraging Puzzle

Authors
item Oi, Faith
item Powell, T. - UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
item Koehler, Phil - UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

Submitted to: Pest Control Technology Magazine
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Termites do not forage randomly or continuously, as previously reported, according to laboratory and field data collected by scientists at the Center for Medical, Veterinary and Agricultural Entomology and the University of Florida, Entomology and Nematology Department in Gainesville, FL. Termites also have been known to evenly divide a tunneling area with main tunnels, but the stability of the main tunnels has not been examined. In studies testing termite tunneling under conditions including decreasing food resources and the presence or absence of guidelines, scientists observed that main tunnel construction was stable. These laboratory results appear to explain field observations of why only 5 to 10 percent of wooden stakes used as monitoring devices were infested, even after 2 to 5 years of observation. This theory will significantly impact current termite control methods in light of new technologies such as baiting and non-repellent termiticides.

Last Modified: 7/23/2014
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