Environmental Influences on Subterranean Termite Foraging Behavior and Bait Acceptance


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Virginia Tech


Reticulitermids were significantly more likely to discover subterranean baits connected by physical guidelines than freestanding baits under both laboratory and field conditions. In the laboratory, subterranean termites built significantly longer tunnels adjacent to cellulosic guidelines than plastic guidelines. In the field, all guideline materials were equally effective at directing tunneling activity. Reticulitermes spp. workers were tested to determine their preferred substrate temperature. The preferred range for Reticulitermes spp. workers was found to be 18 to 27 degrees C. A laboratory bioassay was performed to determine if Reticulitermes spp. aggregates within thermal shadows. Significantly more Reticulitermes spp. workers aggregated within cool thermal shadows than control areas. In a multiple choice bioassay, mean consumption was higher for paper baits treated with fructose, galactose, glucose, raffinose, sucrose, trehalose and uric acid than for control baits. In a multiple choice bioassay, mean consumption was significantly lower for baits treated with arbutin, and most amino acids than for control baits. In the no-choice bioassay, the amount of paper bait consumed did not differ significantly for any of the treated baits tested and control baits.



wood thermoplastic composites, Temperature, subterranean termites, nutrients, physical guidelines, foraging