Cellulose baits containing 0.5% hexaflumuron were hermetically sealed in a closed cell polyethylene sheet envelope and placed in soil to test their durability and efficacy against field colonies of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, or the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar). The closed cell polyethylene sheet was readily tunneled through by termites, yet it was impervious to water and protected the cellulose baits and hexaflumuron from the environment. Only in a few incidents did the polyethylene envelope become infiltrated by plant roots, resulting in water intrusion and apparent degradation of cellulose baits. After consuming one to three sealed baits, three colonies each of both termite species were eliminated. The sealed baits may be placed in soil for months or years without the need of monitoring, and they are readily penetrated and fed upon by termites when they are present. Application of baits hermetically sealed in a protective sheet may save labor costs by bypassing the monitoring phase, circumvent the station avoidance by some termite species, and enable the use of baiting technologies in large areas such as agricultural fields in which the manual monitoring is impractical.
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Vol. 100 • No. 2