Submitted to: Biocontrol Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/9/2007
Publication Date: 6/10/2007
Citation: Dunlap, C.A., Jackson, M.A., Wright, M.S. 2007. A foam formulation of paecilomyces fumosoroseus, an entomopathogenic biocontrol agent. Biocontrol Science and Technology. 17(7):709-719. Interpretive Summary: Formosan subterranean termites are estimated to cost the United States over one billion dollars a year in prevention and damage. Currently, the only method of controlling Formosan subterranean termites is with chemical pesticides. While natural termiticidal microbial agents have been identified, their effectiveness has been limited by how and where they can be applied. Chemical pesticides can be applied as foams to access difficult to reach locations. The foaming agents typically used in chemical pesticide foams are detrimental to most microbial agents. Our research has identified suitable natural foaming agents which are compatible with microbial agents. Their use in combination with a termiticidal fungus has been demonstrated to be effective in controlling Formosan subterranean termites in trees.
Technical Abstract: Several classes of surfactants/foaming agents were screened for compatibility with blastospores of Paecilomyces fumosoroseus. The surfactants were assayed to determine their influence on the rate of germination, viability, and conidia production by blastospores of P. fumosoroseus. Compatible surfactants were then assayed for their foam-forming properties using a commercially available foam generator. These tests identified keratin hydrolysate as the only suitable surfactant in terms of biocompatibility and foam forming properties. Laboratory assays were conducted to determine the effect of keratin hydrolysate on the efficacy of blastospores of P. fumosoroseus against Formosan subterranean termites. The results show keratin hydrolysate increased the efficacy of P. fumosoroseus. A preliminary field trial was performed to test the ability of a P. fumosoroseus foam formulation to control Formosan subterranean termites in infested trees. The results show this foam formulation of P. fumosoroseus is successful in controlling Formosan subterranean termites.