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Effects of non‐repellent termiticides on the tunneling and walking ability of the eastern subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

Quarcoo, Franklin Y, Hu, Xing Ping, Appel, Arthur G
Pest management science 2012 v.68 no.10 pp. 1352-1359
Reticulitermes flavipes, fipronil, indoxacarb, soil, termiticides, walking
BACKGROUND: Non‐repellent insecticides, including fipronil and indoxacarb, are becoming increasingly important for soil treatments to manage the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar). The effects of these insecticides on termite walking and tunneling behavior could significantly reduce their efficacy against colonies. RESULTS: Groups of R. flavipes were exposed to several concentrations of commercial formulations of fipronil and indoxacarb, and the ability of treated termites to tunnel in soil and walk was assessed. Increasing insecticide concentration resulted in a reduction in the ability of R. flavipes to walk, tunnel and form tunnel branches; the importance of these effects on the use of non‐repellent insecticides is discussed. CONCLUSION: Exposure of R. flavipes to 1, 10 or 50 mg L−1 of fipronil or 50, 100 or 200 mg L−1 of indoxacarb significantly reduced termite walking and tunneling and the number of tunnel branches. Distance walked (ca 73 mm) by untreated control termites did not change over time for at least 16 h after treatment; control termites formed ca 150 cm of tunnels with ca 40 branches.