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    & Community Pests
Department of Entomology
Insect Notes
North Carolina's Formosan Termite Program


Light Trap Survey - June 2004
Field surveys such as this one are labor-intensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, Formosan subterranean termites differ from our native termite species because they swarm at dusk instead of during the daytime. This behavior allows us to use light traps as another means of detecting infestations. In June 2004, a light trap survey of the area was conducted during peak swarming activity in areas near known or suspected infestations. Five of ten light traps captured FST swarmers. Four of the five traps were in areas not previously associated with identified infestations. Three traps were stolen/vandalized during the survey costing the project potentially significant data. Following a local press release, NCDA&CS inspectors contacted homeowners who found or suspected that they had Formosan termites. To date, no additional structures have been confirmed with active infestations.

NCDA&CS-SPC inspectors Roger Bryan (left) and Larry Conner (right) install a light trap in an area of suspected termite activity. The trap is equiped with a solar-powered light which activates automatically at dusk and attracts FST swarmers.
installing a light trap
light trap close up

Formosan Subterranean Termite Light Trap
(A = solar-powered light; B = sticky trap)

(Trap design specifications provided by Dr. Frank Guillot, USDA-ARS, Southern Regional Research Center, New Orleans, LA)

 

 

(Thanks to D. Mott, Dept. of Entomology-NCSU, for trap construction).


NCDA&CS-SPC inspector Larry Conner (left) and western district supervisor Rick Reid (right) count FST swarmers on a light trap placed on a fence adjacent to railroad tracks in an area of suspected termite activity. (Not all of the insects on the sticky trap are termites). Five traps caught FST swarmers. Three traps were stolen/vandalized during the survey costing the project potentially significant data. counting swarmers on trap
All photographs taken by M. Waldvogel, Dept. of Entomology, NCSU.

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