A comparison between the warlike termite and the imported fire ant

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A comparison between the warlike termite and the imported fire ant

To make this assessment, GPR signal scans were examined for features produced by termite or ant activities and potential sources of food and shelter such as nests, tree roots, and voids tunnels.

A comparison between the warlike termite and the imported fire ant

The total scanned length of the soil levee was 4, m. The average velocity and effective depth of the radar penetration was 0. Four hundred twenty-seven targets were identified. Tree roots 38voids 31fire ant nestsand metal objects were detected, but no Formosan termite carton nests were identified.

The lack of identified termite nests may be related to drowning events at the time to the flood. Based on the target density TDthe two new floodwall and levee sections that were rebuilt or reinforced after they were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in were determined to be at low potential risk from termites and ants.

A merging target density MTD method indicated a high potential risk near one of the breached sections still remains. Foraging and nesting activity of Formosan subterranean termites and red imported fire ants may be a contributory factor to the levee failure at the London Avenue Canal.

Coptotermes formosanusSolenopsis invictaforagingnestingintegrated pest management Subterranean termites and many ant species nest in soil, often using tree roots and stumps for food in the case of termites and shelter.

As social insects, both termites and ants can have large populations that number into the millions and will make an extensive underground network of foraging tunnels AdkinsWoodroff and MajerXu et al.

For example, a single Formosan subterranean termite Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki colony has been shown to have a tunnel system that can extend from to 3, m2 in an urban habitat Su and Scheffrahn In China termites are the major cause of soil levee failures Xu et al.

Adkins found that the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren mound and foraging tunnels also may weaken soil levees and cause breaks such as the one which occurred near Basile, LA, in June The nest mound of a red imported fire ant colony can vary from 0.

There are numerous outward radiating foraging tunnels up to 1. Their territory ranges from 12 to m2 depending on colony size Adams Termites and ants represent potential hazards to the levee system.

They are major causes of dangerous incidents such as leakage, seepage, and erosion, which can eventually lead to the breakage and collapse of dams, levees, and floodwalls Adkins ; Xu et al. In AugustHenderson discovered that Formosan subterranean termites were attacking the floodwall seams along the Mississippi River in New Orleans.

The termites were eating the bagasse seams and penetrating the rubber seals in between the cement wall sections. Inafter the floodwalls and levee failures at the London Avenue Canal and 17th Street Canal in New Orleans, surveys for infested seams were conducted.

Seventy percent of the seams of the floodwall on the London Avenue Canal east side showed termite and ant damage Henderson Because of this very high seam infestation rate, we focused our current work on the London Avenue Canal levee.

Our objective was to determine whether factors existed in the levee that encouraged ant and termite activity. To date, most studies on biological impacts to soil levee systems have focused on burrowing by large animals and penetration by plant roots ASDSONiederleithinger et al.

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Very little research has been conducted in the United States on how termite and ant activities can compromise soil levees. The ground penetrating radar GPR system is a noninvasive geophysical technique that collects and records information of subsurfaces Conyers It uses a surface antenna to transmit electromagnetic energy pulses in the form of radar waves into the ground.

When the transmitted signal enters into the ground, the differences in dielectric properties between two adjacent materials will cause reflection of some of the radar wave energy back to the surface.

The output signal voltage amplitudes are plotted as different color bands and a subsurface cross section profile is generated Conyers As a rapid, nondestructive, and repeatable exploration tool for constructing an image of structural properties of the shallow subsurface, GPR is widely used by agronomists, archaeologists, criminologists, engineers, environmental specialists, foresters, geologists, geophysicists, hydrologists, land use managers, and soil scientists Finck It has been applied to detect subterranean termite nests, tree roots, and voids under airfield pavements; to estimate root biomass; and to map tortoise tunnels Xu et al.

In this study, we used GPR technology to obtain subsurface information on Formosan subterranean termite and red imported fire ant nests, tree roots, and voids tunnels related to termite and ant potential hazards and risks in the soil levee of the London Avenue Canal in New Orleans, LA.By the end of the study, about 20% of the final dry weight of unprotected bolts consisted of termite‐imported soil.

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Managing Imported Fire Ants in Urban Areas | UGA Cooperative Extension