Wood discs decayed with brown rot fungi and polymer discs impregnated with acetone extract of decayed wood were embedded in sand of a two-dimensional foraging arena to evaluate their attractant potential in directing termite tunnels toward them. Termites were released near one arena corner and were guided to follow the physical guideline of the arena edges. In the absence of the attractants, termites generally formed a relatively linear tunnel along the edges. When decayed wood discs or treated polymer discs were placed in wet sand near one side of the arena, termite tunnels departed from the arena edges and were oriented toward them. The attraction distance ranged from 12 to 18 cm. The attractant properties were most likely water soluble and permeated through wet sand to cause termites to change their orientation. The results demonstrated that when such attractants are placed near a bait station in the field, they may be used to direct termite foraging toward the station.
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Vol. 98 • No. 2