Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: COORDINATION OF NATIONAL TERMITE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM Title: Area-Wide Management of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus, Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in the New Orleans French Quarter

Authors
item Guillot, Frank
item Lax, Alan
item Ring, Dennis -
item Morgan, Alan -
item Brown, Kenneth -
item Riegel, Claudia -
item Boykin, Deborah

Submitted to: Sociobiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 31, 2009
Publication Date: March 1, 2010
Citation: Guillot, F.S., Lax, A.R., Ring, D.R., Morgan, A., Brown, K., Riegel, C., Boykin, D.L. 2010. Area-Wide Management of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus, Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in the New Orleans French Quarter. Sociobiology 55(2): 311-338.

Interpretive Summary: Since the introduction of Formosan subterranean termite (FST) to the region 65 years ago, the New Orleans’ French Quarter (FQ) area has been severely impacted by reoccurring cycles of damages and repairs. As a result, in 1998 the U.S. Congress established a federally funded program called Operation Full Stop. As part of Operation Full Stop, a project was initiated in the French Quarter to apply area-wide management to suppress the FST population thereby potentially limiting future damages. In order to measure the impact of the area-wide program, in-ground stations were placed throughout the French Quarter to monitor activity of termite foragers. Additionally, traps (sticky cards) to capture winged termites (alates) were suspended under street lamps at or near every intersection are used to determine the level of alate activity during the swarm season. In 2003, an inspection program of structures was initiated to determine the percentages of properties with active infestations and their location for additional treatment. As of 2006, there has been a 44% to 76% reduction in the number of alates captured. The inspection program has revealed lingering infestations in some structurally complex facilities. Therefore, finding and treating these persistent infestations are necessary for continual reduction of FST.

Technical Abstract: The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (FST) was first introduced to the continental US after WWII. New Orleans’ French Quarter (FQ) in particular has been severely impacted experiencing reoccurring cycles of damages and repairs since FST was introduced to the region 65 years ago. Operation Full Stop is a federally funded program established in 1998, by the U.S. Congress. As part of the Operation Full Stop, a project was begun in the FQ to apply area-wide management to suppress the FST population, thereby potentially limiting future damages. To measure the impact of the area-wide program, in-ground stations were placed throughout the FQ to monitor activity of termite foragers. Additionally, alate traps (sticky cards), suspended under street lamps at or near every intersection were use to determine the level of alate activity during the swarm season. An inspection program of structures was initiated in 2003, to determine the percentages of properties with active infestations and to reveal their location for additional treatment. The percentages of active in-ground stations declined to 5% or less depending on the specific FQ neighborhood. Also since 2006, there has been a 44% to 76% reduction in the number of alates captured, again depending on the neighborhood and how recently it was entered into the program. The inspection program has revealed lingering infestations in some structurally complex facilities. These infestations are problematic for successful area-wide suppression of FST in the FQ. Thus, finding and treating these persistent structural infestations and those in open spaces such as the adjacent levee are necessary for further reduction of FST.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page