Formosan subterranean termite established in California
Karl Haagsma, Department of Entomology, UC Riverside
Michael K. Rust, Department of Entomology, UC Riverside
Donald A. Reierson, Department of Entomology, UC Riverside
Thomas H. Atkinson, Department of Entomology, UC Riverside
David Kellum, Department of Agriculture, Sun Diego County
California Agriculture 49(1):30-33. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v049n01p30.
A population of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, was discovered in La Mesa, San Diego County, in February 1992. This is the first instance of a non-native termite species being introduced and established in California. Due to the extremely destructive nature of this termite, a study was initiated to attempt to eradicate or control it using an insect growth regulator (hexaflumuron). Preliminary results suggest the product suppresses the population, but evaluation of this control is continuing. In the meantime, removal of excess wood reduces the food sources available to the termites and may help limit the growth and expansion of the colony.
K. Haagsma is Graduate Student, the Department of Entomology, UC Riverside; M.K. Rust is Professor and Chair, the Department of Entomology, UC Riverside. D.A. Reierson is Staff Research Associate, the Department of Entomology, UC Riverside. T.H. Atkinson is Assistant Entomologist and Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist, the Department of Entomology, UC Riverside. D. Kellum is Senior Economic Entomologist, Department of Agriculture, Sun Diego County.
The authors wish to thank J. Lewis, B. Phillips, J. Virzi, D. Hawks, E. Paine, B. Cabrera, J. Murray-Roseberry, T. Breuninger, M. Bartko, and S. Cote for their assistance in monitoring activities and Dr. R. Schefiahn and Dr. N.-Y. Su of the University of Florida, Gainesville, for termite identification. Technical information, bait formulations and support for this project were supplied by DowElanco.