Colony Size Affects the Efficacy of Bait Containing Chlorfluazuron Against the Fungus-Growing Termite Macrotermes gilvus (Blattodea: Termitidae)
Lee, C.-C.; Neoh, K.-B.; Lee, C.-Y.
Journal of Economic Entomology 107(6): 2154-2162
ISSN/ISBN: 0022-0493 PMID: 26470081 DOI: 10.1603/ec14193
The efficacy of chitin synthesis inhibitors (CSIs) against fungus-growing termites is known to vary. In this study, 0.1% chlorfluazuron (CFZ) cellulose bait was tested against medium and large field colonies of Macrotermes gilvus (Hagen). The termite mounds were dissected to determine the health of the colony. Individual termites (i.e., workers and larvae) and fungus combs were subjected to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis to detect the presence of CFZ. In this study, 540.0 ± 25.8 g (or equivalent to 540.0 ± 25.8 mg active ingredient) and 680.0 ± 49.0 g (680.0 ± 49.0 mg active ingredient) of bait matrix were removed by the medium- and large-sized colonies, respectively, after baiting. All treated medium-sized colonies were moribund. The dead termites were scattered in the mound, larvae were absent, population size had decreased by 90%, and the queens appeared unhealthy. In contrast, no or limited effects were found in large-sized colonies. Only trace amounts of CFZ were detected in workers, larvae, and fungus combs, and the population of large-sized colonies had declined by only up to 40%. This might be owing to the presence of large amount of basidiomycete fungus and a drastic decrease of CFZ content per unit fungus comb (a main food source of larvae) in the large-sized colonies, and hence reduced the toxic effect and longer time is required to accumulate the lethal dose in larvae. Nevertheless, we do not deny the possibility of CSI bait eliminating or suppressing the higher termite if the test colonies could pick up adequate lethal dose by installing more bait stations and prolonging the baiting period.