Pest Management Science (2003) 59, 58-68

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Lara Maistrello, Gregg Henderson and Roger A. Laine (2003)
Comparative effects of vetiver oil, nootkatone and disodium octaborate tetrahydrate on Coptotermes formosanus and its symbiotic fauna
Pest Management Science 59 (1), 58-68
Abstract: The potential of vetiver oil and nootkatone as wood treatments against Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki was examined by assessing the effects on termite tunneling, feeding activity and survival, and the consequences on the symbiont protozoa responsible for wood digestion. Comparisons were made with non-treated wood (control), wood treated with the borate compound Tim-Bor® (a commonly used lumber preservative) and absence of a food source (starved termites), using choice and no-choice tests. All wood slices were prepared at the same time using a 10 g liter-1 solution of each substance and were tested in four different sessions over one year to investigate longevity of the effects. Termites had to tunnel through sand to exploit the food sources, consisting of two wood slices, placed on opposite sides of the experimental enclosure. No-choice tests showed that in the presence of vetiver oil or nootkatone, tunneling activity was always the lowest; wood consumption, termite survival and flagellate numbers and species distribution were significantly different from the control and similar to the results obtained for starved termites and with Tim-Bor-treated wood. Nootkatone negatively affected termites for 12 months and was longer lasting than vetiver oil. In choice tests, when vetiver oil or nootkatone were present, termites exhibited a significant preference for non-treated wood. Our results confirmed both the toxicity and absence of repellency of Tim-Bor®. Vetiver oil and especially nootkatone affected Formosan subterranean termites and their protozoa, acting as arrestants, repellents and feeding deterrents, and represent a promising natural alternative for the control of this invasive pest.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Lara Maistrello

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
control - general

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Coptotermes formosanus