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A preliminary assessment of the costs of termite activity in Australia: A discussion paper
1983 - IRG/WP 1207
A preliminary assessment has been made of the economic importance of termite activity in Australia and this paper is intended to serve as a starting point in discussing this topic. Damage to timber in service represents their greatest area of economic importance in urban and rural environments. Costs resulting from termite activity include timber replacements in buildings, railway sleepers, transmission poles, termite surveys, insecticides and wood preservatives. Indirect costs are briefly discussed, as are the beneficial roles of termites in our environment.
J R J French


Control of termite attack using a trapping method and acoustic emission (AE) monitoring a case study at an electric power plant
1997 - IRG/WP 97-10224
To prevent subterranean termites (Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and Reticulitermes speratus Kolbe) from invading the buildings of an electric power plant and to control their attack, artificial traps were buried around the buildings. The attack of the termites in and around the traps was monitored by detecting acoustic emissions (AE) generated by the feeding behavior of the workers. The cylindrical artificial traps were 600 mm long and 300 mm in diameter, and consisted of pieces of Japanese red pine surrounded by slender polystyrene foam sticks. Termite inhabitation was observed in eight of the ten traps set, and particularly high levels were found in three traps. The traps were renewed every one or two months. The amount of termites inhabiting the traps decreased drastically after the first renewal, but varied only slightly over the following two and a half years. The amount of termites in the traps increased when the traps were not renewed. Termite activity was significantly restricted by installing artificial traps and no additional serious attacks were found in or around the buildings during the study period. AEs generated by feeding activities were monitored by piezoelectric AE sensors attached to the wooden sticks in the traps or to wooden bait stakes near the trap. The rate of AE events varied according to feeding activity which was associated with the number of termites in the trap and the temperature.
Y Fujii, Y Imamura, E Iwatsubo, S Yamamoto


Comparative response of Reticulitermes flavipes and Coptotermes formosanus to borate soil treatments
1991 - IRG/WP 1486
Eastern (Reticulitermes flavipes [Kollarl]) and Formosan (Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki) subterranean termite workers (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) were exposed to borate-treated sand in an indirect exposure tunneling assay in the laboratory. In the ten day assay period, both termite species readily penetrated sand containing 5000, 10000, or 15000 ppm (wt. of compound / wt. of sand) disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (Tim-BorÒ) or zinc borate (Firebrake ZB-FineÒ). With Reticulitermes flavipes, significant mortality (85-93%) resulted from workers tunneling through sand treated with 5000 ppm disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (higher concentrations were also effective), or 15000 ppm zinc borate. Responses of Coptotermes formosanus workers were lesser and more variable, with only concentrations of 10000 and 15000 ppm zinc borate resulting in mortality 70-89%) significantly different from that in the control groups. These results suggest that differences between these two species in tunneling behavior may reduce exposure of Coptotermes formosanus to the borate-treated sand.
J K Grace


Problems caused by termites in buildings in the State of Sao Paulo
1976 - IRG/WP 150
Termites are the main insects attacking buildings in the State of Sao Paulo - Brazil. Their attack occurs in wood and wooden materials as well as paper, textile, leather and so on.
M S Cavalcante


Report and recommendations of the National Termite Workshop held in Melbourne on the 17 April 2002.
2003 - IRG/WP 03-10478
There are two parts to this Report. Part One summaries the outcomes of an industry workshop organised to better scope the subterranean termite problem, identify knowledge gaps including R&D gaps and identifying strategies including cost-effective co-ordination mechanisms for addressing the issue. Part Two is a brief review of the current state of knowledge on subterranean termites of economic importance to the wood products industry in Australia.
B M Ahmed, J R J French


Physical barriers and bait toxicants: The Romeo and Juliet of future termite control
1991 - IRG/WP 1503
Soil chemical barriers are considered by some to be the most important technique for protecting buildings against subterranean termites in Australia (and elsewhere), providing a barrier against termite penetration. However, there is no such thing as a barrier that is 100 per cent +protective. And given the worldwide problems of using organochlorine termiticides, public awareness of chemical pollution and contamination to the environment, emphasis on physical barriers has been refocussed. In the event of such barriers being penetrated, the use of suitable bait systems and toxicants is considered a fruitful "back-up" strategy in future termite control measures. Such a system is environmentally friendly, has wide public acceptance, and readily marketable.
J R J French


Termite standards questionnaire survey. Second Report
1989 - IRG/WP 1395
Information contained in replies received from IRG members responding to the survey continue to be summarised. Again, highlighted in this second report are the major termite species in the various zoogeographical regions, their damage ranking to timber-in-service, the chemicals used in control methods, and the status of the termite standards in the respondent countries.
J R J French, J P La Fage


Trials on the field control of the Formosan subterranean termite with Amdro® bait
1982 - IRG/WP 1163
Amdro® - treated paper towels were introduced into two field colonies of the Formosan subterranean termite in Hawaii. At the concentration of 180 ppm, the toxicant bait was ineffective one month after the introduction. At higher concentrations (> 6,400 ppm), the baits were eaten initially; however, one week after introduction, termites avoided or covered the baits. The 15,000 ppm baits supressed the activity of one colony but did not affect the other.
N-Y Su, M Tamashiro, J R Yates III


Biological control of the Formosan subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki
1971 - IRG/WP 100
M Tamashiro, J K Fujii, P Lai, T E Richardson


Sequential exposure of borate treated Douglas-fir to multiple Formosan subterranean termite colonies in a 40-week field test
1993 - IRG/WP 93-10006
Douglas-fir boards (ca. 74.5 g) pressure-treated with disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT) retentions of 0 (controls), 0.88, 1.23, 1.60, or 2.10% (weight/weight) DOT were sequentially exposed to four active field colonies of Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), in an above-ground field test. Samples were placed in contact with each colony for 10 weeks, with oven-dry weight losses determined between exposures, for a total termi exposure period of 40 weeks. Feeding activity differed among termite colonies, with the control wood samples having mean weight losses of 1.3-15.1% of their initial weight during each individual 10-week termite exposure. The two lower borate retentions (0.88 and 1.23% DOT) were virtually equal efficacy, with mean wood weight losses during each individual 10-week exposure ranging from 1.2-4.6%. Feeding was negligible at the two higher borate retentions, with mean wood weight losses from termite feeding during each 10-week period ranging from 0.7-1.3% with 1.60% DOT, and 0.3-0.9% with 2.10% DOT. Total cumulative wood weight losses over the 40 week exposure were: 10.2% (0.88% DOT), 8.7% (1.23% DOT), 3.6% (1.60% DOT), and 2.4% (2.10% DOT).
J K Grace, R T Yamamoto


Termite standards questionnaire survey
1987 - IRG/WP 1324
J R J French, J P La Fage


Differences in feeding activity among colonies of Formosan subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki
1983 - IRG/WP 1202
Feeding activities of 7 colonies of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, were examined. Wood-consumption rates among colonies differed significantly, ranging from 23.80-78.48 mg/g/day. This large intraspecific variation raised a question of whether differences in feeding activity reported for other termite species were due to interspecific differences. When rates were expressed as mg wood consumed by one g termite per day (mg/g/day), termites of larger body weight appeared to consume less wood. This negative correlation, however, was not significant when rates were expressed as mg wood consumed by an individual per day (mg/worker/day).
N-Y Su, J P La Fage


Baiting techniques for subterranean termite control
1983 - IRG/WP 1205
The use of artificial baits, with and without toxins, have proved effective in attracting large numbers of non-mound and mound building subterranean termites in both urban and rural areas. An outline is presented of a termite baiting program which emphasises concurrent laboratory and field investigations on termite ecology, behaviour and physiology
J R J French, J P Robinson


Biocides - Efficacy assessment and doses for wood preservatives (product type 8). Local/geographical aspects. Termite control as case study
1999 - IRG/WP 99-20181
Currently, the efficacy of a wood preservative, as biocidal product type 8, is assessed as a ‚critical value' (CV), an efficient dose (retention in wood at a given depth of penetration). CVs are planned to be adapted for exposure to basic target organisms (5 hazard classes) and additional requirements concerning the occurrence of local target organisms in relation with climate, building design and relevant economical impact. Among them, the termite case study is illustrative. The vote of a french law, on 26 may 1999, aiming to protect consumers and to organize termite control puts termites, a "local target at the euro scale and a universal one in some euro territories", in the spotlights of actuality and helps to point out some of the remaining questions raised by the implementation of Dir 98/8 on Biocides. Based on CEN/TC/38 simulated use tests, which doses have to be used for conditions of exposure and climate, ranging from polar to tropical? Practical proposals are made to take into accound local prescription based on actual target organisms, and move on to standard biocide profiles.
G Ozanne


Evaluation by experimentation on site of a new method for termite control
1996 - IRG/WP 96-10173
A new concept of subterranean termite control consists of the installation of toxic baits in or around the infested construction. Dow Elanco has developed a bait system based on Hexaflumuron. This active ingredient is an insect growth regulator with slow acting effect. A lot of trials were conducted in the USA, but none in France until now. We realised on site experiments, in order to estimate the efficacy of this bait system against French termites. 3 on site experiments (field trial, private house, building) and the first results are described.
A-M Pruvost, M-M Serment, M Jéquel


Termites in Eastern Canada: An updated review and bibliography
1990 - IRG/WP 1431
This report updates Document No. IRG/WP/1333, issued in 1987. The current distribution of termites in eastern Canada and current termite control practices and controversies are explained, and current research is very briefly summarized. Since 1987, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) has been discovered in several more municipalities in the province of Ontario, and in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In October 1989, a well-established drywood termite (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae) infestation was also found in the framing of one house in Toronto. Restrictions on soil pesticide applications for subterranean termite control have increased since 1987, and research on termite biology and control has progressed at the University of Toronto. A comprehensive bibliography of publications, technical reports, and theses concerned with termites in eastern Canada is included in this report.
J K Grace


Termite standards questionnaire survey - First Report
1988 - IRG/WP 1354
Information contained in replies received from IRG members responding to the termite standards questionnaire survey are summarised. Highlighted in the results of this first report are the major termite species in the various zoogeographical regions, their damage ranking to timber-in-service, the chemicals used in control methods, and the status of termite standards in the respondent countries.
J R J French, J P La Fage


Justification for use of mirex in termite control
1988 - IRG/WP 1346
In August 1987, organochlorines were withdrawn in North America from use in termite control. This has left the industry and the community with reduced options in long term protection of wood and wood products. A case is presented to justify the use of the slow-acting stomach termiticide, mirex, under special permit, for use only in the bait-block method of termite control. This method, while not acting like the organochlorines as a chemical barrier around newly constructed and existing buildings will, however, offer an alternative control measure in eradicating subterranean termites when buildings become infested by these insects. Health and safety aspects are discussed.
J R J French


On the possibilities of the use of juvenile hormone analogues (JHAs) in termite control. (A preliminary note for information)
1983 - IRG/WP 1214
A T De Lelis


Preliminary evaluation of borate baits and dusts for eastern subterranean termite control
1990 - IRG/WP 1433
Borates are of potential use in the development of baiting systems for subterranean termite control. In the 15-day laboratory assays reported here, the oral toxicity of disodium octaborate tetrahydrate to Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) was evaluated under choice and no-choice conditions. These assays suggest a range of 2500 to 5000 ppm to be applicable in developing baits, and that concentrations greater than 5000 ppm may deter feeding. Laboratory assays with borate dusts (disodium octaborate tetrahydrate, zinc borate, and a fine-grain zinc borate) are also reported. In a toxic variation of mark-release methodology, these materials are passed among the test group by grooming foragers exposed to the dust. In these assays, 10% of the test group was exposed to the borate dust, then released placed in contact with unexposed workers in a simulation of a field release. Zinc borate treatment elicited the greatest mortality (99-100%), although disodium octaborate tetrahydrate also elicited mortality significantly greater than that in the control groups. These results suggest that less soluble borates may be more efficient dust toxicants, and that capture and dust-treatment of a portion of the foraging termite population could elicit high mortality among termites contacting the treated individuals after their release back into the colony.
J K Grace, A Abdallay, J M Sisson


Studies on the infesting behaviour of the Formosan termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and its physical control
1983 - IRG/WP 1174
An outline of termite damage to buildings in Japanese National Railways, wood-infesting behavior, attacked traces in PVC-sheathed cables by termites, detection method of termites and the physical control method of the Formosan termite are given in the present paper.
K Yamano


Feasibility of termite control using crushed cement-stabilized sludge (Polynite) as a physical barrier and acoustic emission (AE) monitoring
2000 - IRG/WP 00-10381
In Japan, the damages by the subterranean termites (Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki and Reticulitermes speratus Kolbe) are more common. Recently, the more attention is paid to the methods of the termite controls of less- or non-chemical. As one of the non- chemical treatment, physical barrier using particles as basalts 1) , granites, and gravels 2) were investigated in terms of its safety, cost effectiveness and duration of performance, and there were also examples that the physical barriers using some particles have been put to practical use in a few countries except in Japan. Ebeling and Pence showed that the relationship between particle size and termite body size is an important factor in controlling tunneling activity of subterranean termites, and the crushed volcanic cinders of 0.85-2.36 mm in diameter prevented R. hesperus from penetrating 3) . Tamashiro and co- workers indicated that the particles of particular sizes (1.70-2.40 mm in diameter) prevented C. formosanus from penetrating 4) . Su and co- workers investigated the penetration of the sand barrier consisting of crushed quartz rocks and fossilized coral by C. formosanus in laboratory- and field-testing 5, 6) . These results show that it is important to investigate the relationships between the size of termites and particles to evaluate the effects of the physical barrier using particles. On the other hand, in Japan surplus soils and sludge of sixty million tons per annum are discharged from construction sites. The recycle techniques using the surplus soils and sludge and the development of the market for these recycled products are the theme of importance. The crushed cement- stabilized sludge (Polynite) as one of the recycled products of surplus soils and sludge is one of the newly developed and recycled material. It is technically suitable for mass production, has grate cost effectiveness, and is easy to uniform the particle size. In this study, the feasibility of a physical barrier using Polynite uniformed the particle size for termite was examined in a laboratory testing. AE monitoring 7-13) as a method forthe detection of the penetration of termites into the Polynite barrier at an early stage was also investigated, for the application of Polynite barrier in the house.
Y Yanase, M Shibata, Y Fujii, S Okumura, K Iwamoto, T Nogiwa, T Yoshimura, Y Imamura


An overview of termite control in buildings in Kenya
1997 - IRG/WP 97-10242
Termites are well known pests of wooden products and structural timber and are responsible for considerable damage in the building sector in sub-Saharan Africa. A general diagnostic survey of damaging termite species in agriculture, forestry and buildings was carried out for the first time in Kenya (1991-1992). Termite species implicated in damage to wooden materials and structural timber in buildings included Ancistrotermes spp., Odontotermes spp., Allodontermes spp., Pseudacanthotermes spp., Macrotermes spp. and Cryptotermes leylandi ( imported). A pilot questionnaire survey of termite control in the building sector (January-June 1992) indicated that a wide range of timber products in buildings is prone to termite attack. Annual losses due to termites were estimated to be between US $ 8-20 million. Until 1993, aldrin, dieldrin, chlorpyrifos and lindane were the termiticides of choice in building protection and general termite control. However, there has been a general trend to discontinue organochlorine termiticides. Pre-site inspection and treatment is normally a requirement in the building sector. A detailed follow-up survey has been planned for early 1997 to update the data got from the earlier pilot survey. Future termite control research in Kenya should look into more environmentally sustainable chemical compounds and biopesticides such as Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae.
G R S Ochiel, W Gitonga, L Toft


Eastern subterranean termite responses to three soil pesticides
1990 - IRG/WP 1432
In laboratory assays simulating field conditions, tunneling and mortality of Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) workers were evaluated in sand treated with aqueous solutions of formulated chlorpyrifos, isofenphos, and disodium octaborate tetrahydrate. Chlopyrifos and isofenphos were evaluated at concentrations of 500 and 1000 ppm (weight of active ingredient / weight of sand), and disodium octaborate tetrahydrate at 2500 and 5000 ppm. No tunneling was observed in sand treated with chlorpyrifos, and high termite mortality suggested vapor and/or high contact toxicity. Tunneling was initiated in isofenphos-treated sand, and termites subsequently died in the tunnels from contact toxicity. At both concentrations, termite mortality from isofenphos exposure was equivalent to that with chlorpyrifos, but the shorter tunnel length at the higher isofenphos concentration (1000 ppm) indicated a concentration-dependent rate of mortality. Greatest tunneling was observed in sand treated with disodium octaborate tetrahydrate. Low and variable mortality with this compound at 2500 ppm are attributable to its slow toxic action and, possibly, difficulty in obtaining an homogenous distribution. Tunneling was not inhibited at 5000 ppm, but mortality was comparable to that observed with 1000 ppm chlorpyrifos, although slightly less than with 1000 ppm isofenphos. Termiticides having different repellency/mortality profiles are potentially useful in termite control.
J K Grace


Toxicity of etofenprox to the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus
1994 - IRG/WP 94-30048
Etofenprox is an insecticide with exceptionally low mammalian toxicity. When applied topically to workers of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, the LD50 of etofenprox of 4.78 to 6.59 was in the same range as termiticides currently in use. Etofenprox was a relatively quick acting termiticide, with most mortality occurring within 24 hours. In both vertical and horizontal laboratory tunneling assays, etofenprox concentrations as low as 10 ppm reduced termite penetration of crushed coral and silica sand, and consistent protection was achieved with concentrations of 100 ppm or greater. Termites avoided contact with the treated substrate and mortality was generally low, indicating that most termites did not contact the substrate often or long enough to acquire a lethal dose. These results, and the low mammalian toxicity of etofenprox, indicate that it may be useful both as a contact insecticide for injection into active termite infestations within structures, and as a soil insecticide to prevent termites from entering structures. Although more research is required to establish the longevity of etofenprox in the soil under field conditions, our laboratory results indicate that 100 ppm in the soil is a reasonable minimum target concentration for field application.
M Tamashiro, J K Grace, R T Yamamoto


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