Monday, December 10, 2007 - 10:05 AM

Behavior studies in indoxacarb-treated eastern subterranean termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

Franklin Quarcoo, Auburn University, Entomology and Plant Pathology, 301 Funchess Hall, Auburn, AL

The eastern subterranean termite (Reticulitermes flavipes) is an urban pest of high economic importance that causes damage to crops and structures by feeding on cellulose-containing material. In the United States, the cost of control of the eastern subterranean termite (EST) and repair of EST-damaged structures exceed $1 billion annually. The use of non-repellent insecticides in the control of subterranean termites has become very popular in the United States. This is partly because the delayed action of these insecticides allows time for treated termites to transfer toxicants to their nestmates and reproductives through social interactions resulting in colony elimination. Studies on pesticide-induced abnormal behaviors in termites have focused on termite mortality with very little documentation of the various abnormal behaviors that precede it. This study sought to test the effect of concentration and exposure period on the onset of indoxacarb-induced abnormal behaviors in ESTs kept individually and in groups. Onset of abnormal behaviors was dependent on both concentration and duration of exposure to indoxacarb-treated soil.

Species 1: Isoptera Rhinotermitidae Reticulitermes flavipes (eastern subterannean termite)