Special Issue "Pest Management of Termites"

A special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Mark E. Mankowski
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Lab, Durability and Wood Protection, Forest Products Laboratory, Starkville, MS 39759, USA
Interests: termite biology ecology; nutrient cycling; wood protection; chemical ecology; Saproxylic insects
Dr. Brian T. Forschler
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, 413 Biological Sciences Building, Athens, GA 30602-2603, USA
Interests: termite behavior; field efficacy of termite baits; new chemistries for novel termite control tactics; determination of subterranean termite social structure using agonism; morphological characters; cuticular hydrocarbon analysis and genetic markers
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The majority of the world’s 3,000 termite species play an important role in ecosystem services as they breakdown cellulosic material contributing to nutrient cycling.  However, approximately 80 species are considered pests causing severe damage to wood in service.  Annual global economic impact of pest termites is estimated at 40 billion dollars.  This estimate can be attributed primarily to two termite groups, subterranean and drywood termites with subterranean termites accounting for 80% of this amount.  Termite pest management action plans generally consider attributes and architecture of a structure as well as substrate preference and foraging characteristics of the pest species. Subterranean termite management relies on the use of soil insecticide or physical barriers, treated wood in construction, and area-wide strategies employing baiting systems.  Drywood termite management involves use of wood removal/replacement, injection or surface applications to wood as localized interventions as well as treated wood or fumigation for structure-wide control.  Due to the cryptic nature of termites, pest management can be challenging even as new technologies for detection and maintaining termite-free construction are introduced. 

This special issue welcomes relevant research articles and review papers that focus on and enhance our understanding of termite pest management.  Researchers in this or related study areas are invited to submit manuscripts for this issue.


Dr. Brian T. Forschler
Dr. Mark E. Mankowski
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • termites
  • termite management and control
  • pest management
  • detection
  • wood protection
  • baits
  • soil treatment
  • Barriers

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Area-Wide Elimination of Subterranean Termite Colonies Using a Novaluron Bait
Insects 2021, 12(3), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12030192 - 24 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 718
Abstract
We investigated the use of termite baiting, a proven system of targeted colony elimination, in an overall area-wide control strategy against subterranean termites. At two field sites, we used microsatellite markers to estimate the total number of Reticulitermes colonies, their spatial partitioning, and [...] Read more.
We investigated the use of termite baiting, a proven system of targeted colony elimination, in an overall area-wide control strategy against subterranean termites. At two field sites, we used microsatellite markers to estimate the total number of Reticulitermes colonies, their spatial partitioning, and breeding structure. Termite pressure was recorded for two years before and after the introduction of Trelona® (active ingredient novaluron) to a large area of one of the sites. Roughly 70% of the colonies in the treatment site that were present at the time of baiting were not found in the site within two months after the introduction of novaluron. Feeding activity of the remaining colonies subsequently ceased over time and new invading colonies were unable to establish within this site. Our study provides novel field data on the efficacy of novaluron in colony elimination of Reticulitermes flavipes, as well as evidence that an area-wide baiting program is feasible to maintain a termite-free area within its native range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pest Management of Termites)
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Article
Influence of Zwitterionic Buffer Effects with Thermal Modification Treatments of Wood on Symbiotic Protists in Reticulitermes grassei Clément
Insects 2021, 12(2), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12020139 - 06 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 555
Abstract
The majority of thermal modification processes are at temperatures greater than 180 °C, resulting in a product with some properties enhanced and some diminished (e.g., mechanical properties). However, the durability of thermally modified wood to termite attack is recognised as low. Recent attempts [...] Read more.
The majority of thermal modification processes are at temperatures greater than 180 °C, resulting in a product with some properties enhanced and some diminished (e.g., mechanical properties). However, the durability of thermally modified wood to termite attack is recognised as low. Recent attempts at combining thermal modification with chemical modification, either prior to or directly after the thermal process, are promising. Buffers, although not influencing the reaction systems, may interact on exposure to certain conditions, potentially acting as promoters of biological changes. In this study, two zwitterionic buffers, bicine and tricine, chosen for their potential to form Maillard-type products with fragmented hemicelluloses/volatiles, were assessed with and without thermal modification for two wood species (spruce and beech), with subsequent evaluation of their effect against subterranean termites (Reticulitermes grassei Clément) and their symbiotic protists. The effect of the wood treatments on termites and their symbionts was visible after four weeks, especially for spruce treated with tricine and bicine and heat treatment (bicine HT), and for beech treated with bicine and bicine and heat treatment (bicine HT). The chemical behaviour of these substances should be further investigated when in contact with wood and also after heat treatment. This is the first study evaluating the effect of potential Maillard reactions with zwitterionic buffers on subterranean termite symbiotic fauna. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pest Management of Termites)
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Article
Anti-Termitic Activity of Three Plant Extracts, Chlorpyrifos, and a Bioagent Compound (Protecto) against Termite Microcerotermes eugnathus Silvestri (Blattodea: Termitidae) in Egypt
Insects 2020, 11(11), 756; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11110756 - 04 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 759
Abstract
A trend towards environmentally friendly chemicals for use in termite management has been occurring globally. This study examined three naturally occurring plant extracts from Lavandula latifolia (Spike lavender), Origanum vulgare (Marjorum), and Syzygium aromaticum (Clove) against the termite Microcerotermes eugnathus. Plant [...] Read more.
A trend towards environmentally friendly chemicals for use in termite management has been occurring globally. This study examined three naturally occurring plant extracts from Lavandula latifolia (Spike lavender), Origanum vulgare (Marjorum), and Syzygium aromaticum (Clove) against the termite Microcerotermes eugnathus. Plant extract results were compared to two commercially used termite pesticides, the bio-insecticide, Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Protecto 9.4% WP) and Dursban (Chlorpyrifos 48%). Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis was used to identify the main compounds in the three plant extracts. The main compounds in Lavandula Latifolia were linalool (21.49%), lavandulol (12.77%), β-terpinyl acetate (10.49%), and camphor (9.30%). Origanum vulgare extract contained thymol (14.64%), m-cymene (10.63%), linalool (6.75%), and terpinen-4-ol (6.92%) as main compounds. Syzygium aromaticum contained eugenol (99.16%) as the most abundant identified compound. The extract of O. vulgare caused the highest termite death rate, with an LC50 of 770.67 mg/L. Exposure to lavender extract showed a high death rate with an LC50 of 1086.39 mg/L. Clove extract did not show significant insecticidal activity with an LC50 > 2000 mg/L. Significant termiticide effects were found, with LC50 values of 84.09 and 269.98 mg/L for soldiers and workers under the application of Dursban and Protecto, respectively. The LC50 values reported for nymphs were <120, <164.5, and 627.87 mg/L after exposure to Dursban, Protecto, and O. vulgare extract, respectively. The results of the study show that some of the extracts have low toxicity compared to the bioagent and Dursban, and may show promise as natural termiticides, particularly as extracts from O. vulgare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pest Management of Termites)
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Article
Do Termitaria Indicate the Presence of Groundwater? A Case Study of Hydrogeophysical Investigation on a Land Parcel with Termite Activity
Insects 2020, 11(11), 728; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11110728 - 24 Oct 2020
Viewed by 563
Abstract
Termite nests have long been suggested to be good indicators of groundwater but only a few studies are available to demonstrate the relationship between the two. This study therefore aims at investigating the most favourable spots for locating groundwater structures on a small [...] Read more.
Termite nests have long been suggested to be good indicators of groundwater but only a few studies are available to demonstrate the relationship between the two. This study therefore aims at investigating the most favourable spots for locating groundwater structures on a small parcel of land with conspicuous termite activity. To achieve this, geophysical soundings using the renowned vertical electrical sounding (VES) technique was carried out on the gridded study area. A total of nine VESs with one at the foot of a termitarium were conducted. The VES results were interpreted and assessed via two different techniques: (1) physical evaluation as performed by drillers in the field and (2) integration of primary and secondary geoelectrical parameters in a geographic information system (GIS). The result of the physical evaluation indicated a clear case of subjectivity in the interpretation but was consistent with the choice of VES points 1 and 6 (termitarium location) as being the most prospective points to be considered for drilling. Similarly, the integration of the geoelectrical parameters led to the mapping of the most prospective groundwater portion of the study area with the termitarium chiefly in the center of the most suitable region. This shows that termitaria are valuable landscape features that can be employed as biomarkers in the search of groundwater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pest Management of Termites)
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Article
A Study of the Gut Bacterial Community of Reticulitermes virginicus Exposed to Chitosan Treatment
Insects 2020, 11(10), 681; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11100681 - 08 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 769
Abstract
A thorough understanding of microbial communities in the gut of lower termites is needed to develop target-specific and environmentally benign wood protection systems. In this study, the bacterial community from Reticulitermes virginicus was examined by Illumina sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) spanning [...] Read more.
A thorough understanding of microbial communities in the gut of lower termites is needed to develop target-specific and environmentally benign wood protection systems. In this study, the bacterial community from Reticulitermes virginicus was examined by Illumina sequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) spanning the V3 and V4 regions. Prior to library preparation, the termites were subjected to five treatments over an 18-day period: three groups were fed on wood treated with 0.5% chitosan, 25% acetic acid, or water, the fourth group was taken directly from the original collection log, and the fifth group was starved. Metagenomic sequences were analyzed using QIIME 2 to understand the treatments’ effects on the dynamics of the gut bacteria. Four dominant phyla were detected: Bacteroidetes (34.4% of reads), Firmicutes (20.6%), Elusimicrobia (15.7%), and Proteobacteria (12.9%). A significant effect of chitosan treatment was observed in two phyla; Firmicutes abundance was significantly lower with chitosan treatment when compared to other groups, while Actinobacteria was lower in unexposed and starved termites. The results suggest that chitosan treatment not only affects the structure of the microbial community in the gut, but other treatments such as starving also cause shifts in termite gut communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pest Management of Termites)
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Article
Efficacy of Minimum Application of Chlorfluazuron Baiting to Control Urban Subterranean Termite Populations of Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae)
Insects 2020, 11(9), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11090569 - 25 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 878
Abstract
Termite infestations in urban areas are a serious problem because they cause negative economic effects, reduce the esthetic value of buildings, damage crops, and require household repairs. Chemical controls are the most common method used against subterranean termites, and baiting has emerged as [...] Read more.
Termite infestations in urban areas are a serious problem because they cause negative economic effects, reduce the esthetic value of buildings, damage crops, and require household repairs. Chemical controls are the most common method used against subterranean termites, and baiting has emerged as one of the prominent control methods. The goal of this research was to determine the efficacy of termite baiting by treating one of six active termite stations (selective baiting) with chlorfluazuron baits to eradicate six populations of subterranean termites. This work shows that the placement of chlorfluazuron baits in one of the active stations was sufficient to destroy a colony that was interconnected with multiple chlorfluazuron-free stations. In general, it requires an average of 4–8 weeks for a quantity of less than 300 g of chlorfluazuron bait to remove a termite infestation at the study site. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pest Management of Termites)
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Article
An In-Situ Assessment of Wood-in-Service Using Microwave Technologies, with a Focus on Assessing Hardwood Power Poles
Insects 2020, 11(9), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11090568 - 25 Aug 2020
Viewed by 732
Abstract
Wooden power poles and their ongoing inspection represent a significant investment for most electrical power utilities. This study explored the potential for using microwave fields to non-invasively assess the state of hardwood power poles in a field experiment. Two strategies were assessed: 2.4 [...] Read more.
Wooden power poles and their ongoing inspection represent a significant investment for most electrical power utilities. This study explored the potential for using microwave fields to non-invasively assess the state of hardwood power poles in a field experiment. Two strategies were assessed: 2.4 GHz microwave field transmission through the pole; and mutual coupling between antennae using a 10.525 GHz radar module applied to the surface of the pole. Both systems distinguished between sound hardwood poles and those which were compromised by decay and subterranean termite attack and infestation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pest Management of Termites)
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Article
Investigation of Termite Attack on Cultural Heritage Buildings: A Case Study in Aceh Province, Indonesia
Insects 2020, 11(6), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11060385 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 934
Abstract
Surveys of the conditions of termite attack were conducted in two regencies, Pidie and Greater Aceh, Aceh Province, Indonesia (40 houses in each location). Interviews were also conducted with home owners to collect data on the building history; culture, such as daily life [...] Read more.
Surveys of the conditions of termite attack were conducted in two regencies, Pidie and Greater Aceh, Aceh Province, Indonesia (40 houses in each location). Interviews were also conducted with home owners to collect data on the building history; culture, such as daily life in the house; the frequency and intensity of termite attacks; and traditional knowledge for avoiding and/or suppressing termite attacks. We found that 51% of traditional houses were infested by two termite species: Coptotermes gestroi and Nasutitermes matangensis. The lower parts of traditional houses were frequently attacked and severely damaged by termites. Previous land use and the ages of the traditional houses affected the intensity of the termite attacks. Several measures for avoiding and/or suppressing termite attacks on cultural heritage buildings are also proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pest Management of Termites)
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