Field Demonstration of Heat Technology to Mitigate Heat Sinks for Drywood Termite (Blattodea: Kalotermitidae) Management
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
Hi-Temp Tech, LLC., 2877 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paulo A. V. Borges
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.