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.

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Author notes

3Louisiana Pest Control Association, Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA.

4Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA.