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Influence of Portland cement amendment on soil pH and residual soil termiticide performance

Richman, D.L., Tucker, C.L., Koehler, P.G.
Pest management science 2006 v.62 no.12 pp. 1216-1223
mechanism of action, termiticides, chlorpyrifos, application rate, cement, termite control, soil amendments, cypermethrin, bifenthrin, imidacloprid, mortality, soil pH, permethrin, fipronil, Reticulitermes flavipes, Florida
Soil adjacent to new brick veneer work is likely to have a higher pH owing to the mixture of cement with the soil. In the Gainesville, FL, area, soil samples taken from such locations had a range of pH values from 9.0 to 10.1; similar soils used in bioassays had a pH of 5.6 before the addition of cement. Addition of 15 mg of Portland cement to 33 g of soil increased the pH to 6, and addition of 291 mg of Portland cement increased the pH to 9. The pH of soil amended with cement was stable for the first 5 months. After 10 months, soil pH values decreased from alkaline to near neutral in all cases. Eastern subterranean termite workers, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), were exposed to the treated soil at pH 6-9 for 24 h, and percentage mortality was recorded at 5 days, 5 months and 10 months. Termite mortality significantly decreased at higher soil pHs for bifenthrin, chlorpyrifos, fipronil and imidacloprid treatments at 5 months and similarly for bifenthrin, permethrin, chlorpyrifos, fipronil and imidacloprid treatments at 10 months. There was an inverse linear relationship between soil pH and mortality. Increased soil pH diminished residual activity of termiticide in the following order: imidacloprid > fipronil > chlorpyrifos = bifenthrin > permethrin > cypermethrin.