A review of subterranean termite control practices and prospects for integrated pest management programmes
- Cite this article as:
- SU, NY. & Scheffrahn, R.H. Integrated Pest Management Reviews (1998) 3: 1. doi:10.1023/A:1009684821954
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Soil insecticide barriers have been the single most important tool for subterranean termite control in the last half century, but limitations with current soil termiticides have provided the impetus to look for alternatives in recent years. One such alternative is the monitoring--baiting programme. Monitoring stations to detect termites are placed in the soil surrounding a structure. Once termites are found in the stations, monitoring devices are replaced with slow-acting baits such as the chitin synthesis inhibitor, hexaflumuron. Field studies have indicated that termite colonies were eliminated using less than 1 g of hexaflumuron. After the elimination, monitoring resumes and bait is applied if new termite activity is detected. The monitoring and baiting procedure form the basis for an ongoing programme to protect structures from subterranean termite infestation. Although the cost--benefit model developed for agricultural integrated pest management cannot be applied directly to termite control, the underlying concept for using a cost-effective approach remains the same. The benefits of the monitoring--baiting programme over conventional soil treatment are a reduction in pesticide applied per unit and the elimination of termite populations near structures, resulting in the reduction of liability and damage potential. It is expected that the data management system when used in conjunction with the monitoring--baiting programme will provide a database to improve its cost-effectiveness continuously.