Vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides) is an Indian native plant whose domesticated type is cultivated worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions for its effectiveness against soil erosion and for the commercial importance of its oil, extracted from the roots. Vetiver grass is known to be naturally resistant to arthropod pests and diseases and vetiver oil is reported to repel insects from skin and clothes and to have a potent topical irritant activity on flies and cockroaches. Vetiver oil is an extremely complex mixture of 300 compounds: among these nootkatone and - and -vetivone have been identified to show termite repellent properties. Lower termites, such as C. formosanus, rely on the protozoa living inside their gut for the digestion of their cellulose food. Therefore substances negatively acting on protozoa survivorship may indirectly affect termite survival. As part of our research on natural product efficacy against Formosan subterranean termites, experiments have been performed to test the response of C. formosanus to various substrates and food sources treated with vetiver oil, nootkatone and - and -vetivone. Evaluations of tunneling behavior, measurements of food consumption, variation in the number of different species of symbiont protozoa present over time, variation in individual termite weight and termite survivorship were recorded.The results showed that vetiver constituents, especially nootkatone, negatively effect termite physiology and behavior and may represent promising natural alternatives as termite repellents.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2000|
|Autori:||L. MAISTRELLO; HENDERSON G.|
|Titolo:||Effects of vetiver oil and its constituents on Coptotermes formosanus and its symbiotic fauna|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Abstract in Atti di Convegno|
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