IRG Documents Database and Compendium

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Suitability of different termite species for laboratory testing
1982 - IRG/WP 1159
Different termite species were tested in the laboratory to evaluate the effectiveness of insecticides and wood preservatives in wood against termite attack. Determined were the optimum group size and composition, the matrix (vermiculite) volume and its moisture content. Choice feeding tests with fully impregnated wood blocks which are carried out according to a modified EN 117 procedure for Reticulitermes santonensis may also be used for the Rhinotermitid species Heterotermes indicola and Coptotermes formosanus. Even the Mastotermitid species Mastotermes darwiniensis may be used for this method, but not Coptotermes niger. For Nasutitermes nigriceps which may anyway only be used with hardwoods, smaller test vessels seem to be more appropriate. The standard method EN 118 which is used to test a surface protection against subterranean termites may also be used for Heterotermes indicola and Coptotermes formosanus when the moisture content of the vermiculite is raised to 350%.For the compulsory feeding tests which are usually carried out with Kalotermes flavicollis, the drywood termites Cryptotermes dudleyi and Neotermes jouteli could also be utilised. Mastotermes darwiniensis may not be used for compulsory feeding tests.
U Kny, H Kühne

What Can Fecal Pellets Tell Us About Cryptic Drywood Termites (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae)?
2009 - IRG/WP 09-20407
Drywood termites (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae) are serious economic pests of both plants and seasoned wood (furniture, wood frame structures). Currently, five species of kalotermitids are known to occur in the Hawaiian Islands: Neotermes connexus, Incisitermes immigrans, Incisitermes minor, Cryptotermes brevis, and Cryptotermes cynocephalis. These termites are difficult to detect and observe due to their cryptic habitat. Unlike termites that nest in the soil, and forage outward for wood, drywood termites nest directly in their food source. Often, the only outward sign of termite infestation is the presence of small fecal pellets, expelled from the gallery system through small holes in the wood surface. This report reviews recent research indicating that these fecal pellets may be a valuable source of information on the biology of these cryptic insects, including the identity of the termite species, the relative cellulose content of the food source, and the size and even the age of the population.
J K Grace

Nondestructive Detection of Biodeterioration in Indonesian Traditional Wooden Construction of “Joglo”
2014 - IRG/WP 14-10834
To decide the repairing and reinforcement method for wooden constructions, it is necessary to get the enough and precise information on the status of the construction beforehand, especially the distribution and the degree of the biodeterioration, such as decay or insect attack (e.g. termite attack). In this study, damage of biodeterioration to teak wood used in Indonesian traditional wooden construction of “Joglo” was investigated by evaluating ultrasonic velocity, moisture content, acoustic emission, and so on. Damages by dry-wood termite or fungi were found in joglo constructions in sultans’ palaces and in the area of Kotagete. The relationship of damages by dry-wood termite or fungi to ultrasonic velocity in the teak wood and to moisture content was discussed. The monitoring of acoustic emission generated by dry-wood termite attack was also carried out for the detection of termite attack in the wooden structure.
Y Yanase, T Mori, T Yoshimura, Y P Prihatmaji, J Sulistyo, S Doi

Termite Management and the U.S. Experience: A Case for Wood Treatment & Integrated Control
2015 - IRG/WP 15-30678
A brief overview of termite control is given using specific experiences from the U.S.A. Five major types of termite treatment now prevail: soil applied chemical barriers, in-structure chemical barriers (in-situ applied wood and foundation treatments), physical barriers, treated wood and termite baits. In general, ‘stand-alone’ pretreatments or ‘primary’ treatments are often discussed and even required, although in actuality control typically relies on a number of interacting factors. The different termite control systems are discussed as well as some important building code and construction aspects which can help or hinder long-term protection against termites. The control strategies in current use are explained and performance of primary control strategies for various pests and construction types, and possible supplemental treatments are suggested. It was found that no single treatment can perform in all areas and on all construction types and a summary table developed should help specifiers select appropriate protection.
J D Lloyd, K van den Meiracker

Application of an Ultrasound-based Instrument to Evaluate Condition of Drywood Termite Infested Timber Components
2022 - IRG/WP 22-11000
The characteristics of ultrasound waves propagation from non-destructive ultrasound-based instrument on drywood termite infested wooden components were investigated. Features of wave propagation such as time-of-flight, velocity, and peak energy on three orthogonal wooden plane (longitudinal, radial, and transversal) were studied. The wooden components used on this study came from a traditional wooden house in Pandeglang Regency, Banten Province. The basic macroscopic characteristics of wooden component were noted including fundamental physical and mechanical properties such as density, specific gravity, and dynamic MOR. SylvatestDuo was utilized to evaluate the current state of the wooden component through ultrasound wave propagation means. The wave propagation features (time-of-flight and velocity) were then translated to reconstruct residual wooden component condition via three-dimensional model. The study showed that ultrasound waves travelled at different time and velocity in the three orthogonal plane, the longitudinal plane has the highest velocity and the shortest travel period among other planes as well as highest R-squared (0.98) in the relation of time to span regression result. There were more than 50% of the wooden component were estimated to degrade due to drywood termite infestation based on the three-dimensional image reconstruction produced from the characterization of the ultrasound waves assessment results.
S Fauziyyah, L Karlinasari, D Nandika, R Wimmer

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

An evaluation method for less termite attack execution on thermal insulation for fundation walls
2002 - IRG/WP 02-20245
According to the results by the real scale Japanese building tests, the termite installation was observed at very little spaces between foundation and insulation. The termite penetration spaces between foundation and insulation on foundation systems in Japanese wooden houses were checked by the way of streaming speed of colored water. Because of difficulty for its execution, the parts of outside angles and reentrant angles in continuous foundation were more sensitive for the termite penetration. Special accessories of thermal insulation for these angles can be effective for lesser termite installation.
K Suzuki, Y Tanaka

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 resistance of pine wood treated with chromated copper arsenates
1997 - IRG/WP 97-30128
Two four-week, no-choice laboratory tests were performed with CCA-treated southern yellow pine and radiata pine against Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus. CCA retentions as low as 0.05 kg/m3 (0.03 pcf) provided protection from all but light termite attack (rating of 9 on a 10-point visual scale). Similar and consistent light attack on wafers containing retentions as high as 6.4 kg/m3 (0.4 pcf), coupled with complete termite mortality, demonstrates that the mode of action of CCA treatments relies upon toxicity rather than having any repellent effects against termites.
J K Grace

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

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

Termite trail-following substances in Houttuynia cordata
2001 - IRG/WP 01-10409
Termite trail-following active compounds in the plant, Houttuynia cordata Thunb., were studied by a combination of chemical analyses and bioassay using Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki as a test termite. We have found that termites were attracted to methanol extracts from H. cordata. The n-hexane(Hex) extracts, that showed a trail-following activity, were fractionated by a silica-gel column chromatography with Hex/ethyl acetate(EtOAc) successively increasing the polarity. The obtained 5%, 10%, 15% EtOAc/Hex fractions were found to be active. GC-MS analysis of the 5% EtOAc/Hex fraction showed a peak corresponding to 2-undecanone, which revealed weak activity.
W Ohmura, K Yamamoto, M Saegusa, T Ohira, A Kato

Evidence supporting the use of termite baiting systems for long-term structural protection
2000 - IRG/WP 00-10377
The efficacy of the Sentricon Colony Elimination System containing Recruit II termite bait (0.5% hexaflumuron) in controlling active subterranean termite infestations has been demonstrated in numerous studies. This baiting system and other termite baiting systems are now widely used, and generally accepted, tools for remedial termite control in North America, Hawaii, and other parts of the world. The role of baiting systems in prevention of termite damages and long-term structural protection, however, is more controversial than their use in remedial control. We discuss three lines of evidence in support of the use of baits for long-term structural protection: (1) successful control of termite populations with baits in remedial studies allows a conceptual leap to preventative efficacy, since baits target colonies and populations and cannot be evaluated directly for prevention in the manner of soil insecticide barriers; (2) field and laboratory studies demonstrate that termite colonies feed on multiple resources and continue to radiate outward from each of those resources in search of additional food, increasing the likelihood of rapid bait discovery; and (3) results of our long-term field studies over the past decade demonstrate that newly invading termites will reuse existing galleries in the soil left by earlier colonies that lead to monitoring stations, were detected in monitoring stations, and were subsequently eliminated without any noticeable evidence of structural infestation or damage.
J K Grace, N-Y Su

Physical and biological properties of albizzia waferboards modified with cross-linking agents
1995 - IRG/WP 95-40043
Chemically-modified low-density waferboards with cross-linking agents were produced using a fast-growing species of hardwood albizzia (Paraserienthes falcata Becker) as a raw materials and isocyanate resin as a glue adhesive. For the chemical modification, the vapor-phase formalization of the boards and the pad-dry-cure treatment of wafers with cross-linking agents were employed. The vapor-phase formalization was conducted for 5, 10 and 24 hours using tetraoxane as a source of formaldehyde, and the pad-dry-cure treatments with glutaraldehyde and ethyleneurea compound (DMDHEU) were made after impregnation of their 5 and 10% aqueous solutions of each chemical. Sulfur dioxide was used as a catalyst in both treatments. About 70% of antiswelling efficiency (ASE) was gained in all treated boards irrespective of reaction time or solution concentration. All treated boards were very stable to water soaking even in the 2-hour boiling on thickness swelling as well as linear expansion. Laboratory tests with brown-rot and white-rot fungi revealed that decay was completely suppressed in formaldehyde-treated boards, and small losses in weight were counted in other treated boards. All treated boards were also effective in resisting to the attack by the destructive termite Coptotermes formosanus.
S Yusuf, Y Imamura, M Takahashi, K Minato

Response of the Formosan Subterranean Termite (Coptotermes formosanus) to Cellulose Insulation Treated with Boric Acid in Choice and No-Choice Tests.
2004 - IRG/WP 04-10532
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.
M E Mankowski, J K Grace

Laboratory evaluation of chemicals as termiticides
1986 - IRG/WP 1293
Laboratory procedures are described for screening chemicals against subterranean termites. Fast-acting compounds with persistent termiticidal activity are identified in tests using a soil substrate, and slower-acting bait toxicants are evaluated in a series of tests using cellulose substrates.
S C Jones

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

Preliminary attempts towards the development of a small scale termite rearing chamber. Progress report
1983 - IRG/WP 1203
The results suggest that there is no evidence that the volume of the rearing chamber plays a part in the settlement of a colony. These rearing chambers present a factor of productivity (final enumeration)/(initial enumeration) of roughly 2 after one year. 90% of the colony survived. This method of breeding can be considered as feasible and cheap.
M Argoud, J C Palla, R Sternalsky

Termite and decay protection - A superficial barrier field test
1983 - IRG/WP 3257
Samples of Pinus radiata were given a superficial barrier treatment and installed in the ground at two sites for five years to observe termite and fungal attack. The three best treatments of the series were Denso petroleum tape, Koppers hot dip tar enamel, and Arquad 2C/75 alkyl ammonium compound. As new fungicides and insecticides become available they are being added to the test using the same system of treatment and exposure.
R S Johnstone, W D Gardner

A method for screening termite baits using Coptotermes lacteus mounds
1984 - IRG/WP 1237
A method with several variations designed to rapidly screen potential bait substrates using Coptotermes lacteus mounds is described. The equipment used in this method is relatively inexpensive, readily prepared in the laboratory, and easily installed into active mounds in the field. Bait substrates are in continuous contact with a &apos;high termite hazard&apos;, and may be monitored with minimum interference to the termites.
J R J French, P J Robinson

What can DNA fingerprinting, aggression tests and morphometry contribute to the identification of colonies of the Formosan subterranean termite
2000 - IRG/WP 00-10371
Multilocus DNA fingerprinting, aggression tests and morphometry were compared to evaluate their potential for the identification of colonies of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in Hawaii. DNA fingerprinting separates the termites from all studied collection sites. Since the genetic similarity between termites from different collection sites lies in the range of the genetic background similarity in the population, collection sites in this study represent independent colonies. No significant differences could be found in the intra- and intercolonial aggression levels. While aggression tests do not support colony identification, morphometric measurements do show differentiations between colonies. However, classification of individuals to their original colony does not reach the 100% success provided by genetic analyses. No correlation between genetic similarities and aggression levels or morphometric distances could be found. This suggests that neither aggression levels nor morphometric parameters are significantly influenced by genetic factors in this species. Genetic studies appear to be the most useful approach to the identification of colonies and the analysis of small scale population structures in C. formosanus.
C Husseneder, J K Grace

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

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