Coptotermes Wasmann is one of the most important genera of wood-destroying insect pests, both in its native and introduced countries. Pyrethroids are among the most widely used insecticides in wood preservation around the world. Consequently, they have often been evaluated against different species of Coptotermes. However, because various test methods have been used between countries, comparing results is problematic. These field trials, using a single aboveground method of exposure, assessed a range of retentions of two pyrethroids (bifenthrin and permethrin) in Pinus radiata D. Don sapwood against two species of Coptotermes in three countries to provide directly comparable results. Coptotermes acinaciformis (Froggatt) in Australia consumed the most nontreated wood, followed by Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki in China, then C formosanus in the United States, although these data were not significantly different. Both termite species demonstrated a dose-response to wood treated with the two pyrethroids; less wood was consumed as retention increased. Overall, C. acinaciformis consumed relatively little of the treated wood. In comparison, C. formosanus consumed 20–90% of the wood treated at the lowest retentions of the pyrethroids evaluated. Results indicated that C. acinaciformis was more sensitive to pyrethroid toxicity/ repellency compared with C. formosanus. Factors that may have influenced the results are discussed. However, using a single aboveground method of exposure across three countries, that suited both species of Coptotermes, made it possible to determine unambiguously the actual differences between the species in their tolerances to the two pyrethroid insecticides.
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