Effects of three particle film products on Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, were evaluated in feeding, tunneling, and contact assays. The particle films, hydrophobic M96-018 and hydrophilic Surround and Surround WP are based on the inert clay mineral kaolin. In 2-week long no-choice feeding tests, significant mortality occurred only with M96-018-coated wood. When a choice was provided, M96-018 and Surround were consumed at higher rates than untreated wood. Surround WP did not differ from controls in either test. In the tunneling assay termites were given the option of crossing a kaolin-sand mixture to reach an alternate food source. After 3-weeks, rates of 1% and 5% M96-018 provided an effective barrier to Formosan termite tunneling, while termites were not stopped by rates as high as 20% Surround and Surround WP. Dust treatments of all three formulations caused significant increases in mortality within 24 h, with mortality rates ranging from 72.0 - 97.3% within 72 h of treatment. The particle films were most effective when moisture levels were low, suggesting that desiccation was the mechanism for mortality. All particle films showed potential for use in above ground applications while hydrophobic M06-018 has the most potential as a soil barrier to subterranean termites.
Additional publication details
Potential of kaolin-based particle film barriers for Formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) control