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Natural resistance of exotic wood species to the Formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)

Mary L. Cornelius, Weste L. A. Osbrink
International biodeterioration & biodegradation 2015 v.101 pp. 8-11
Coptotermes formosanus, Picea, Tectona grandis, biological resistance, ingestion, lumber, starvation, survival rate, toxic substances, toxicity, wood, wood preservatives
The purpose of this study was to evaluate survival and wood consumption of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, on ten different species of wood used as commercial lumber. Six of the wood species had natural resistance to termites and caused an average of >75% mortality. Southern yellow pine and spruce were the most palatable and teak was the most resistant of the wood tested. A test was also conducted to compare survival of termites on resistant wood with survival under starvation conditions after three and six weeks. After six weeks, survival of termites on teak was significantly lower than in the starvation control, suggesting that at least some of the termite mortality on teak may have been due to toxicity. Toxic chemical components of teak hold the most promise as wood preservatives.