Response of the Formosan Subterranean Termite (Coptotermes formosanus) to Cellulose Insulation Treated with Boric Acid in Choice and No-Choice Tests.

IRG/WP 04-10532

M E Mankowski, J K Grace

The tunneling ability of the Formosan subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki through a cellulose insulation material containing11.1% boric acid was tested in choice and no-choice bioassays. We examined tunneling behavior and mortality of termites exposed to treated and untreated insulation material in miniature simulated wall voids. In a choice test termites tunneled through untreated insulation in all but one of the replicates used. Termites were unable to fully penetrate any of the replicates containing treated insulation and experienced a significantly higher mortality (78.4 ± 18.4%) than termites exposed to untreated insulation (11.6 ± 5.6%, F = 60.4, df = 1, P < 0.0001). In a no- choice test termites fully penetrated all replicates containing untreated insulation and experienced 37.1 ± 37.2% mortality. Termites exposed to treated insulation in this test experienced a significantly higher mortality of 100.0% (F = 14.3, df = 1, P < 0.005), and did not fully penetrate the treated insulation.

Keywords: Boric acid, cellulose insulation, choice test, Coptotermes formosanus, Formosan termites.

Conference: 04-06-06/10 Ljubljana, Slovenia

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