The efficacy of three chitin synthesis inhibitors, diflubenzuron, hexaflumuron, and chlorfluazuron, incorporated into a novel bait matrix to kill the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, was evaluated in the laboratory. The bait matrix was significantly preferred by C. formosanus over southern yellow pine wood in a two-choice feeding test. Bait formulations containing 250 ppm of the three chitin synthesis inhibitors were presented to termite nests with 2,500 individuals (80% workers and 20% soldiers) in the presence of alternative food sources consisting of cardboard and southern yellow pine, Pinus taeda L., wood. None of the bait formulations were significantly repellent or feeding deterrent to the termite workers evidenced by the lack of full consumption of alternative food sources. All nests presented with the bait formulations died within 9 wk, whereas the control nests (bait with no chitin synthesis inhibitors) remained alive 6 mo after the end of the study. No significant differences in consumption were observed among the chitin synthesis inhibitor treatments. Importance of this study for the improvement of current bait technology is discussed.
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Vol. 94 • No. 2