Effects of Boric Acid Treated Soil on Mortality, Feeding and Tunneling of Microcerotermes Diversus Silvestri (Isoptera: Termitidae) in Laboratory Trials
Microcerotermes diversus Silvestri is the most economically destructive termite in structures in Ahvaz (Iran), and it consumes almost anything containing cellulose. This species lives in subterranean nests and gains access to buildings and vegetation by constructing underground galleries. Because of their insecticidal activity, boron compounds may be beneficial for treating soil to create insecticidal barrier effects against subterranean termites. The chemical barrier effect of boric acid against M.diversuswas evaluated in laboratory trials using glass tube and plastic container methods. Boric acid concentrations used ranged from 0.2 to 4.0% in soil. This study showed boric acid does not act as a repellent, but that soil treated with >1.5% of this compound was effective for inducing delay in penetration of termites through the treated soil. Boric acid at >1.5% also caused a gradual increase in mortality and reduced tunnel area and feeding activity into the treated soil during the 14-day trial. Results suggest that boric acid mixed in soil creates an effective, non-repellent lethal termite foraging area against M. diversus.