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Bifenthrin treatment for balsa: Susceptibility of Papua New Guinea-grown Ochroma pyramidale to attack by Coptotermes acinaciformis (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae) in an Australian context

Kotlarewski, Nathan J., Derikvand, Mohammad, Lee, Michael, Nolan, Gregory, Hague, James RB.
International biodeterioration & biodegradation 2019 v.137 pp. 153-157
Blattodea, Coptotermes acinaciformis, Eucalyptus globulus, Ochroma pyramidale, Pinus radiata, bifenthrin, heartwood, sapwood, wood industry, Northern Territory, Papua New Guinea
This study evaluated the termite susceptibility of Papua New Guinea (PNG) balsa (Ochroma pyramidale) against Australia's most economically important wood-destroying termite species, Coptotermes acinaciformis. Samples of envelope treated PNG balsa with the insecticide bifenthrin and non-treated balsa, radiata pine (Pinus radiata) sapwood and southern blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) heartwood were exposed to seven different colonies of C. acinaciformis at a field site in the Northern Territory, Australia. The results indicated that balsa is susceptible to termite attack, with a mean mass loss of 30.9% (range 3.8–99.9%). Mean mass losses for radiata pine and southern blue gum were 90.3 and 98.9% respectively. It was evident that balsa can be successfully protected from termite attack with envelope-treatments of bifenthrin, with the latter proving to be highly efficacious at mass/volume retentions much lower than those specified in AS 1604.1 and typically used in the Australian timber preservation industry.