The insecticidial and biological activity of the cyano-substituted neonicotinoid acetamiprid was determined against the western subterranean termite, Reticulitermes hesperus Banks (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Acetamiprid was very active against termites in topical applications, with an LD50 = 0.02 ng per termite. Even though acetamiprid was extremely toxic in topical applications, deposits ≥50 ppm on sand were required to consistently provide >90% kill of termites within 7 d after a 1-h exposure. Termites were quickly affected by brief exposures to sand treated with 1 ppm acetamiprid and within 1 h, their locomotion was dramatically impaired. Acetamiprid was transferred from donors to recipients only when donors were held on deposits ≥50 ppm for 1 h. Deposits even as low as 1 ppm were repellent and termites failed to tunnel into treated sand, and there was no significant mortality. Exposure to acetamiprid impaired locomotion of termites as did other slow-acting neonicotinoids, such as imidacloprid. Acetamiprid was repellent at all concentrations tested, acting like type I pyrethroid treatments in soil. A new subcategory of type III soil termiticides is proposed that incorporates the sublethal and delayed effects observed in neonicotinoid insecticides, and repellency at certain concentrations.
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Vol. 101 • No. 4