Termite baiting system technology: utilization and evaluation for integrated management of Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) and Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) subterranean termite populations, with seasonal variation and spatial patterns exhibited in foraging strategies



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Texas A&M University


Commercial termite baiting systems were utilized and evaluated under real-world conditions in order to provide a comparison of efficacy in the management of subterranean termites. Three commercial termite baiting systems available for comparison included: FirstLine? (FMC Corp.), Sentricon? (Dow AgroSciences), and Terminate? (United Industries, Inc). The time required for foraging termites to locate and begin feeding on both the Sentricon? and the Terminate? bait stations was approximately one-half the time required to locate and begin feeding on the FirstLine? system, for both R. flavipes and C. formosanus. The time required for C. formosanus to locate and begin feeding on all termite baiting systems was approximately one-half the time required for R. flavipes. There were no significant differences in efficacy between the three baiting treatment systems against R. flavipes, with a mean of 84% efficacy for all systems. The Sentricon? system was able to achieve efficacy (88%) results with few additional residual liquid termiticide treatments. FirstLine? efficacy (80%) and Terminate? efficacy (84%) results required initial and subsequent multiple spot treatments with residual termiticide for comparable results. The Sentricon? baiting system yielded positive results in the management of C. formosanus, if utilized in an aggressive, active management program, involving multiple supplementary in-ground and above-ground bait stations at both points of active infestation and at areas with conditions conducive to infestation. Optimum results were achieved when monitoring of the bait stations occurred twice each month, rather than the standard monthly monitoring regime. The two termite baiting systems with Sulfluramid as the active ingredient required spot treatments with termiticides in order to protect the structures. Grids of bait stations were installed and termite activity and foraging strategies were monitored for a five-year period. Treatment with sulfluramid required 472 active ingredient tubes, over a 37-month period, in order to reduce subterranean termite populations. Observations of seasonal variation and spatial patterns of foraging by native subterranean termites, R. flavipes, in a typical urban/suburban setting provided information with direct application to an effective termite baiting system program.