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Article

Field Demonstration of Heat Technology to Mitigate Heat Sinks for Drywood Termite (Blattodea: Kalotermitidae) Management

by 1,* and 2
1
Urban Entomology Laboratory, Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 3050 Maile Way, Gilmore Hall 310, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
2
Hi-Temp Tech, LLC., 2877 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paulo A. V. Borges
Insects 2021, 12(12), 1090; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12121090
Received: 25 October 2021 / Revised: 1 December 2021 / Accepted: 3 December 2021 / Published: 5 December 2021
The West Indian drywood termite, Cryptotermes brevis poses a significant economic threat in Hawaii, the southeast portion of continental United States, and throughout tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. Heat treatment is among the nonchemical options to manage them. A typical heat treatment may not be able to provide a complete kill of drywood termites due to the presence of difficult-to-heat areas. To mitigate this effect, studies were conducted in drywood termite-infested condominiums in Honolulu, Hawaii, where either a standard heat treatment performed by a heat remediation company or improved heat treatment methods were used. For improved treatments, heated air was directed into the drilled bases of infested cabinets for better heat penetration. Eight temperature sensors showed that sufficiently high heat was recorded at difficult-to-heat areas, including inside thick wooden cubes, for 120 min, with target temperatures of above 46 °C or 50 °C capable of killing drywood termites. A pre-treatment and a 6-month posttreatment inspection were performed to monitor termite inactivity using visual observations and by recording the numbers of spiked peaks on a termite detection device. The data showed no termite activity in improved heat treatment condominiums at 6-month posttreatment. Guidelines for the improved heat treatment are proposed.
With heat treatments to control drywood termites (Blattodea: Kalotermitidae), the presence of heat sinks causes heat to be distributed unevenly throughout the treatment areas. Drywood termites may move to galleries in heat sink areas to avoid exposure to lethal temperatures. Our studies were conducted in Crytotermes brevis-infested condominiums in Honolulu, Hawaii to reflect real-world condominium scenarios; either a standard heat treatment performed by a heat remediation company, or an improved heat treatment was used. For improved treatments, heated air was directed into the toe-kick voids of C. brevis infested cabinets to reduce heat sink effects and increase heat penetration into these difficult-to-heat areas. Eight thermistor sensors placed inside the toe-kick voids, treatment zone, embedded inside cabinets’ sidewalls, and in a wooden cube recorded target temperatures of above 46 °C or 50 °C for 120 min. Pre-treatment and follow-up inspections were performed at 6 months posttreatment to monitor termite inactivity using visual observations and by recording the numbers of spiked peaks on a microwave technology termite detection device (Termatrac). In improved treatment condominiums, significantly higher numbers of spiked peaks were recorded at pre-treatment as compared to 6 months posttreatment. Efficacious heat treatment protocols using the improved methods are proposed. View Full-Text
Keywords: heat treatment; termite control; termites; Crytotermes brevis; wood pest; heat technology; non-chemical; pest management; condominium; temperature sensor heat treatment; termite control; termites; Crytotermes brevis; wood pest; heat technology; non-chemical; pest management; condominium; temperature sensor
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tay, J.-W.; James, D. Field Demonstration of Heat Technology to Mitigate Heat Sinks for Drywood Termite (Blattodea: Kalotermitidae) Management. Insects 2021, 12, 1090. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12121090

AMA Style

Tay J-W, James D. Field Demonstration of Heat Technology to Mitigate Heat Sinks for Drywood Termite (Blattodea: Kalotermitidae) Management. Insects. 2021; 12(12):1090. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12121090

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tay, Jia-Wei, and Devon James. 2021. "Field Demonstration of Heat Technology to Mitigate Heat Sinks for Drywood Termite (Blattodea: Kalotermitidae) Management" Insects 12, no. 12: 1090. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12121090

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