Hexaflumuron Efficiency and Impact on Subterranean Termite (Reticulitermes spp.) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) Gut Protozoa

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Virginia Tech

The effect of competing food sources on termite consumption of hexaflumuron bait and subsequent mortality was examined. Also, the effect of hexaflumuron on the termite gut fauna was evaluated to determine if hexaflumuron could kill termites via a secondary mode of action.

Hexaflumuron consumption in no-choice and choice tests was evaluated at 2d and 5d. Total diet consumption was not different between the treatment groups. Hexaflumuron consumption was reduced by a factor of 3 in the presence of a competing control diet and reduced by a factor of 57 in the presence of an inulin diet. In the choice test, termites preferred inulin over hexaflumuron.

Termite mortality after hexaflumuron consumption was quantified at 5d, 15d, 20d, 25d, and 35d in three treatment groups. Mean mortality for termites fed only hexaflumuron diet was significantly higher than termites fed only control diet. Mean mortality for termites given a choice was no different than mortality for termites fed only hexaflumuron or control diet. LT50s for termites fed control diet, hexaflumuron diet, or both diets in the choice test, were 24.4d, 18.7d, and 20.6d, respectively. The choice test LT50 did not differ from the LT50 of either no-choice test. Termites fed only hexaflumuron diet had an earlier LT50 than termites fed only control diet.

The effect of hexaflumuron on gut fauna survival was evaluated at 5d and 15d. No significant differences were found in total numbers of protozoa in termites fed either hexaflumuron or control diet. Pyrsonympha was the only protozoa significantly reduced by hexaflumuron consumption.

Hexaflumuron, Termite Consumption, Protozoa, Bait Systems