Alternative control strategies for termites
The relative efficacy of five detection and 12 control methods for termites is reviewed. Chemical and nonchemical control methods are included. Discussions of the latest advances in detection and control focus on seven species: Cryptotermes brevis (Walker), Incisitermes minor (Hagen), I. snyderi (Light), Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, Heterotermes aureus (Snyder), Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar), and R. hesperus Banks. These species were chosen because they have great economic importance as pests and because studies have been published on alternative control strategies. Tables and discussions recount the historical development as well as strengths and limitations for most termite detection and control methods. Differences between whole-structure and localized treatments also are discussed. Chemical methods are the most predominant termite treatment application. However, uses of alternative methods that emphasize least-toxic and nonchemical applications are increasing. Technological advances in detection are needed to enhance all termite control methods, especially those directed at localized applications. Prospects for the development and public acceptance of alternative termite controls appear good, although population reduction of termites from structures may be a more attainable and realistic goal than elimination as new technologies are developed. The greatest challenges ahead in improving and developing existing and new termite detection and control strategies will be to secure funds for research and to identify mechanisms for rapid dissemination of evolving information to pest control operators and consumers.