The effect of variables on laboratory termite testing: part 4-test block species, size, and test photoperiod.
The objective of this study was to determine the impact on termite feeding of wood sample size and species and test photoperiod in standard tests. Native species (Reticulitermes flavipes) and introduced species (Coptotermes formosanus) were tested in an American Wood-Preservers' Association E1 standard laboratory test. For testing involving treated wood, southern yellow pine was determined to be preferable to spruce based on its treatability and availability. Test blocks of 25 by 25 by 6 mm were deemed adequate for testing, with large blocks presenting difficulty with retrieval of termites to determine mortality and smaller blocks being consumed too rapidly by the termites in the test. Photoperiod comparisons were not significantly different for R. flavipes; however, C. formosanus indicated a preference for 100 percent darkness. Therefore, the recommendation is to maintain tests using each species in a 100 percent dark environment.