Increased search tunnel formation by Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in 2-phenoxyethanol treated sand

Huixin Fei, LSU Agricultural Center
Gregg Henderson, LSU Agricultural Center
Allen Fugler, LSU Agricultural Center
Roger A. Laine, LSU Agricultural Center


Termites follow chemical and physical gradients in their search for food. In laboratory bioassays, search tunnel formation of Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki was examined in response to different 2-phenoxyethanol concentrations in sand. 2-phenoxyethanol significantly increased the total tunnel network length by termites. At a concentration of 0.082%, but not 0.164%, it also significantly increased daily search activity by C. formosanus. After aging the treated sand for 2 wks, C. formosanus continued to show a significant increase in the search tunnel length in 0.082% 2-phenoxyethanol treatments. Application of 2-phenoxyethanol, a nonpheromone attractant, to termite infested soil nearby, may increase the search and thus the likelihood for contact with baits and nonrepellent termiticides in the field.