Bait station preferences in two Macrotermes species

Naeem Iqbal, Lahiru S. Wijedasa, Theodore A. Evans

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    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Baiting is considered to be a relatively environmentally benign termite control method; however, all commercial baiting systems are designed for species in the Rhinotermitidae and are used primarily in temperate countries. Fungus-growing termites in the Macrotermitidae can be important pests in tropical countries; they can be difficult to control using all available methods, and there are no baiting systems designed for them. We tested bait station size, an important component of bait station design, against two Macrotermes species in Singapore. Macrotermes gilvus recruited to small stations (0.35 L) very poorly and medium stations (3.6 L) poorly (both similar in size to various commercial stations), but they recruited to large stations (11.5 L) well. Macrotermes carbonarius followed a similar pattern but recruited to fewer stations overall. In the occupied stations, M. gilvus ate the bait wood, sometimes creating a fungus garden inside the stations, and brought little soil into the stations. In comparison, M. carbonarius ate no wood at all, but filled stations with soil. There was significantly less leaf litter around M. carbonarius mounds compared with M. gilvus mounds, although there were no obvious differences in habitat, which suggested that M. carbonarius eats leaf litter only and is not a pest species. Our study shows that stations much larger than current commercial options may provide a useful means for controlling pest wood-eating, fungus-growing termites in tropical countries.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)217-225
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Pest Science
    Volume90
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

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