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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: AREA-WIDE STRATEGIES FOR MANAGEMENT OF FORMOSAN SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES Title: Effect of Imidacloprid Soil Treatments on the Occurrence of Formosan Subterranean Termites, Coptotermes Formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), in Independent Monitors

Authors
item Osbrink, Weste
item Cornelius, Mary
item Lax, Alan

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 15, 2005
Publication Date: October 15, 2005
Citation: Osbrink, W.L., Cornelius, M.L., Lax, A.R. 2005. Effect of imidacloprid soil treatments on the occurrence of formosan subterranean termites, coptotermes formosanus shiraki (isoptera: rhinotermitidae), in independent monitors. Journal of Economic Entomology. 98(6):2160-2168.

Interpretive Summary: Periodic sampling of 30 independent monitors, initially active with the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, was conducted to evaluate the effects of soil treated with imidacloprid on nearby termite activity. Monitors were located adjacent (1-3 m) to the buildings. Soil around and under the buildings were treated with 0.05% imidacloprid. None of the termites collected showed latent mortality attributed to imidacloprid intoxication. Imidacloprid soil treatments did not measurably reduce C. formosanus populations adjacent to the treatments. Imidacloprid does not appear to fit the liquid-bait model. The Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki) is the most destructive termite where it occurs. Chemical control strategies have failed to protect structures from this termite, resulting in many millions of dollars of structural damage. Imidacloprid is a new generation, slow acting, non-repellent, insecticide registered for termite control. It has been suggested that because this insecticide is non-repellent, termites continue to contact the treatment and entire populations of termites are controlled in areas beyond the treatment. It is important that we know the actual performance of such treatments so we can use the appropriate strategies to protect valuable buildings. Formosan termite monitors near imidacloprid treated buildings were established and regularly evaluated for about 2 years to see if the treatments controlled termites in areas near the tree treatments. It was determined that Formosan termite populations were not measurably reduced and areas adjacent to the treatments. Subterranean termites cost Americans more than 10 billion dollars a year over most of the continental United States and Hawaii. Our discovery that Formosan termite populations are not measurably effected in areas adjacent to treatment with this new generation, slow acting, non-repellent termiticide allows us to remain on guard after such treatments have been applied. Information allows us to understand the tools we have so we can integrate them into successful control strategies.

Technical Abstract: Periodic sampling of 30 independent monitors, initially active with the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, was conducted to evaluate the effects of soil treated with imidacloprid on nearby termite activity. Monitors were located adjacent (1-3 m) to the buildings. Soil around and under the buildings were treated with 0.05% imidacloprid. None of the termites collected showed latent mortality attributed to imidacloprid intoxication. Imidacloprid soil treatments did not measurably reduce C. formosanus populations adjacent to the treatments. Imidacloprid does not appear to fit the liquid-bait model.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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