Reticulitermes feeding preference and experimental design
Perkins, Gretchen Denise
MetadataShow full item record
Subterranean termites are a prevalent urban pest that cost billions of dollars in damage, control, and repair costs in the United States annually. In order to understand how to better control these pests, accurately measuring their food preference is critical. We examined three bioassay designs (multiple-choice, paired choice, and no choice) with four species of wood (Sequoia sempervirens, Pinus sp., Liriodendron tulipifera, and Quercus sp.) using three sympatric Reticulitermes species, R. flavipes, R. malletei, and R. virginicus. Results indicated that no choice and four choice bioassay designs should be used simultaneously to accurately establish a preference hierarchy. The amount of wood in a trial affects the wood consumption rate: 12 blocks of wood inspires more feeding than 3 blocks.