The objective of this study was to evaluate lufenuron termite bait (1,500 ppm) for the elimination of colonies of Reticulitermes hesperus Banks (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Dispersion of colonies in six baited and six unbaited sites near Placerville, CA, was determined by genetic (microsatellite) analyses. Twenty-one colonies of R. hesperus inhabited the six baited sites and eight colonies of R. hesperus occurred in the six unbaited sites. Five criteria provided a cause-and-effect link between the deployment of lufenuron termite bait and elimination of baited colonies: 1) association of foragers, as members of the same colony, in the independent monitoring stations and bait stations; 2) quantity of bait consumed; 3) abnormal physical appearance of foragers in bait stations; 4) disappearance of foragers from, and cessation of feeding in, independent monitoring stations visited by baited colonies; and 5) presence of foragers from, and continuation of feeding in, independent monitors visited by unbaited colonies. Baited colonies were devoid of foraging termites within a mean of 70.6 d (range, 37–93 d) of bait deployment. Colonies consumed a mean of 8.0 g of bait (range, 2.2–16.0 g). Wood consumption by baited and unbaited colonies was not significantly different during the 2 mo before baiting, 281.4 versus 590.5 mg/d per colony, respectively, nor during the 3 mo immediately after baiting, 112.5 versus 436.8 mg/d per colony, respectively. However, from 10 to 16 mo after baiting, wood consumption by baited colonies essentially ceased and was significantly less than the unbaited colonies, 7.9 versus 470.1 mg/d per colony, respectively.
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Vol. 103 • No. 3