Experiments were conducted to determine whether subterranean termites, Reticulitermes virginicus (Banks), previously exposed to sublethal doses of imidacloprid (Premise), and allowed to recover for 1 wk, demonstrated behavioral aversion to a subsequent exposure. Worker termites experiencing a previous sublethal but debilitating exposure to imidacloprid-treated sand (either 10 or 100 ppm for 4 h) showed no apparent aversion to a second encounter with imidacloprid-treated sand under conditions of this experiment. If these laboratory results hold in the field and termites traveling through a zone of soil treated with imidacloprid are impaired but subsequently recover, they will be just as likely as their naive nestmates to reenter the treated area if their travels take them through the nonrepellent application a second time. Our results also indicate that a sublethal exposure to imidacloprid can affect termite tunneling behavior. Many worker termites that received an initial 4-h exposure to 100 ppm imidacloprid-treated sand died, but those that survived tunneled significantly less than did their naive nestmates, as did some termites exposed to 10 ppm imidacloprid.
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Vol. 94 • No. 2