Report 
  Title  
  FACTORS AFFECTING TERMITE RECRUITMENT TO BAITS IN LABORATORY AND FIELD STUDIES
  Key Words  
  Foraging, Reticulitermes, sucrose, urea
  Author  
  DEBORAH A. WALLER, SUSAN E. MORLINO and NICOLE MATKINS
  Abstract  
  A weak link in the implementation of effective termite baiting techniques is reliable recruitment of termite foragers to baits. Little is known about how termites locate food sources, but many factors may influence whether foragers find and recruit to a given bait. These include the abundance and palatability of the bait relative to alternate foods in the habitat, chemical directional clues to the location of food in the soil environment, and the presence of predators and termite competitors at the bait site. We have investigated these factors in the subterranean termite Reticulitermes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) over the past five years in laboratory and field studies in Virginia. In the laboratory, termites recruited in higher numbers to substrates drenched with solutions of sucrose and yeast or urea than to water-drenched substrates. In field studies, more termites occupied baits covering drenches of sucrose + yeast or urea solutions than baits covering water drenches. Some baits contained ant predators. Reticulitermes flavipes and Reticulitermes virginicus usually fed on separate baits, but once R. flavipes appeared to be displaced by R. virginicus. These results suggest that numerous bait monitoring stations should be placed near structures to ensure that all local colonies have an opportunity to sample baits. Continued experimentation with drenches is likely to yield a recipe that reliably draws termite foragers to baits.