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Publication numberUS3249501 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 3, 1966
Filing dateJan 29, 1963
Priority dateJan 29, 1963
Publication numberUS 3249501 A, US 3249501A, US-A-3249501, US3249501 A, US3249501A
InventorsAnders E Lund
Original AssigneeKoppers Co Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Termite attractant
US 3249501 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 3, 1966 A E ND 3,249,501


ANDERS E. LUND United States Patent M 3,249,501 TERMITE ATTRACTANT Anders E. Lund, Pitcairn, Pa., assignor to Koppers Company, Inc., a corporation of Delaware Filed Jan. 29, 1963, Ser. No. 254,728 2 Claims. (Cl. 167-48) This invention relates to an attractant for termites.

Chemical insecticides are commonly used to control termite infestations. To kill the termite, however, the termite must contact or eat the chemical. Most chemicals are either repellent or neutral in their attraction to "termites, so it is only by accident that the termite happens upon the insecticide.

An object of this invention, therefore, is to provide an attractant that will draw termites to a termiticide provided for their extermination.

It has now been found that the solvent extract of termite bodies is a powerful attractant for termites. The material extracted, after removal of the solvent, is a brownish, sweet-smelling, waxlikematerial. Particularly good solvents for extracting the termite bodies are oxygenated solvents such as acetone, methyl-ethyl ketone, methyl isobutyl ketone, methanol, ethanol, propanol, diethyl ether, isopropanol ether, dipropanol ether, ethanol-benzene, and the like. The chemical identity of the solvent extract of termite bodies is not known. When the material was subjected to analysis by conventional infra-red procedures, the principal absorptions and proposed structural assignments were:

Absorption band, microns: Structural assignment 2.9 vw OH.

3.4 vs, 3.50 s Alkyl CH.

5.73 m C O (ester).

5.85 sh C=O (carboxylic acid). 6.28 vw, 6.6 sh, 6.7 sh Phenyl ring.

6.40 vw Carboxylic acid salt. 6.89 m Alkyl CH.

7.28 m CCH 7.93 m, 8.6 m C=O (ester).

8.98 m, 9.10 m Triglycerides.

9.7 w, 11.5 w, 12.4 w Skeletal.

13.8 w a. (CH where n is 4 or more.

The reason for the great attraction of termite-s to the solvent extract of termite bodies is not known. The solvent extract, however, has far greater attraction for termites than does water, which the termites must have to live.

With mixtures of the solvent extract and a termiticide, the termites are drawn to their extermination.

The termiticide for use in this invention may be any of the common materials known to kill termites. Examples of usable compounds lethal to termites are the organic compounds creosote, pentachloro-phenol, sodium pen-tachlorophenate, copper naphthenate, dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane, and the various halogenated polycyclic insecticides such as aldrin, chlordane, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor isodrin, lindane; as well as others, such as the phosphorous compounds malathion and parathion. Examples of inorganic compounds include sodium fluoride and sodium arsenate. The termiticide may also be a biologically active organic compound, such as the bacterium Serratia marcescens, the mold Aspergillus flavus, and the fungus Lentinus lepideus.

The attractant may be only a small portion of the total composition, the remainder being an appropriate vehicle and the termiticide. The selection of a particular vehicle depends upon the mode of application desired and this, in turn, determines the physical form desired for. the composition. The composition lends itself well to appli- 3,249,501 Patented May 3, 1966 cation as a dust, spray and aerosol. For application as a dust, the composition is in dry powdered form with the usual inert powdered vehicle material, such as, clay, talc, lime, pyrophyllite, and the like. For application by spraying, the composition must be in liquid form. The vehicle may be water or a suitable inert solvent to form a true solution or it may be a suspension preferably employing an emulsifying agent compatible with both the termiticide and the attractant.

The amount of termiticide present in the final composition, of course, will depend upon the nature of the termiticide employed. It may range from as little as onetenth percent to as much as 20% or more. The amount of solvent extract of termite bodies employed is not particularly critical. It has been found that as little as 0.001% by weight of the waxy termite extract will suffice but more than 5% does not appear to have any greater beneficial result.

The figure illustrates apparatus for determining the relative attraction of various materials to termites.

The apparatus of the figure is advantageously made of glass. In the embodiment here-in, the apparatus is generally T shaped. The side arms 10 span a total length of twenty-four centimeters and have a diameter of one centimeter. The central opening 12 is for the addition of the termites. Washed .and sterilized sand was added to the tube to function as a floor. A small roll of filter paper was inserted in each opening 13, 14 at the ends of the arms. Water was added to the filter paper at one end, and the test material was added at the other end. Termites were then added at the center opening. Periodic observations of the insects were made. Those termites in the left third of the tube were considered to be attracted to the material at the left end of the tube; those in the right third of the tube were considered to be attracted to the material at the right end of the tube; and insects in the central third of the tube were not counted as being attracted to either material.

The invention will be illustrated further by the following examples.

Example I To a Soxhlet extractor containing an initial charge of 200 cc. of acetone as a solvent, there was added 22.7 grams of live termites (a termite weighs about .0013 gram), and the termites subjected to extraction with the acetone. extract of termite bodies was evaporated to dryness. There was produced, as residue (A), 0.30 gram of a sweet-smelling (a typical ester smell) material.

The remaining cc. of acetone was flashed off leaving 10 cc. of water and material which was extracted with ether in a liquid-liquid extractor. There remained 0.02 gram of solids in the water phase, and 0.31 gram of waxy residue.

A 40 cm. long alumina chromatographic column was used to separatecornponents of the waxy residue. Development was followed with a UV light. The following order ,of solvents was used: cyclohexane, cyclohexanechloroform (7:3), chloroform, chloroform-ethanol (7:3) and ethanol. However, only two cuts uncontaminated by Tygon tubing were obtained. The first (CN-1 of 0.01 gram) which came down with cyclohexane plus cyclohexane-chloroform (7:3) was a non-fluorescent ester, While the second was strongly fluorescent and could be eluted only with a formic acid-ether (1:1) mixture (CF-'5 of 0.05 gram after separation from aluminum formate). This material (CF-5) is apparently a long-chain acid.

Example 11 An extraction was made in a Soxhlet extractor from 17.5 grams of live termites with 200 cc. of'diethyl ether,

A 100 cc. aliquot of the resulting solvent and Q2 and then with acetone. While in the first extraction 22.7 grams of termites yielded 0.63 gram of material, in the second extraction 17.5 grams of termites yielded 0.34 gram of waxy material to ether and 0.28 gram of largely water-soluble material to acetone.

Example III A test of the attractiveness of the extracted materials to termites was made as follows: two crystallizing dishes were used with each material being tested. Each crystallizing dish contained two halves of a 9 centimeter filter paper. A small portion of the extract was placed on one of the halves of the filter paper, and the other half was moistened with water. In the control, one-half of a filter paper was moistened while the other half of the filter paper was left dry. Six termites were placed in the center of each dish. The position of the termites was inspected every ten minutes for a two-hour period. The average number of termites per period on each paper is recorded below.

Material Tested Extract Wet Example IV An extract according to the procedure of Example I was carried out again in a Soxhlet extractor using diethyl ether as the extracting solvent. The solvent was evaporated from the extract under an atmosphere of nitrogen and the lure of the extractant for termites compared with the lure of water for the termites using the apparatus illustrated in the figure and the procedure described above in the discussion of the figure. In this case, the filter paper at the left end of the tube, and the filter paper at the right end of the tube were both wet with water. A small amount of the termite extract was also added to the paper at the right end of the tube. Thereafter, eight termites were placed in the tube. The results obtained in this test were:

4 Example VI The procedure of Example V was repeated except that the righthand paper was left as just a dry filter paper. The results were as follows:

Time Water Only Dry Environment 120 min 5 0 Example VII The solvent extract of Example IV was neutralized with sodium carbonate. The test procedure utilized in Example V was repeated except that the neutral fraction of termite extract and water was placed on the right hand filter paper. The results were as follows:

Number of Termites 011 Time Neutral Water Only Fraction Water Example VIII Number of Termites on 00 Time Water Only Extract Number of termites on- +Water Time S fi d 0111 e 1 5 Water Only F iaetion 0 4 Water 0 e 1 6 0 7 5 min 0 3 10 min 0 3 hi i 3 ml 60 0 4 Example V izo gi n 0 4 The test procedure of Example IV was repeated except that in this case the filter paper at the left end of the tube was wetted with water, and the filter paper at the right end of the tube was dry but a small amount of the Example IX extract was added thereto. The results were as follows:

Time Water Only Extract Only OODOOC @MIQNNQ 2% chlordane, and 0.05% pyrethrins. The results were as follows:

The procedure of Example IX was followed except I that no solvent extract of termite bodies was applied to the filter paper. In other words, the right-hand filter paper included only insecticide plus water. The results were as follows:

Number of termites on- Condition of Termites Time Water Insecticide+ Only Water crwrosmucnee OQHHOlb- Satisfactory.

Experiments IX and X show that an insecticide can be combined with the solvent extract of termite bodies so that the termites will be lured to contact the insecticide which, in the absence of the solvent extract of termite bodies, they did not contact sufficiently to cause mortality.

I Example XI The'precedure using the apparatus of this figure was repeated except that the right-hand filter paper included water, a small amount of sodium arsenate and ether extract of termite bodies. The results were as follows:

Number of Living Termites Time Termit Ext.+ Toxicant+ Water Water Only At the end of 21 hours, four of the termites were dead, the other four termites were moribund, that is, lying on their sides or backs obviously disabled, some barely able to move an antenna or extremity.

6 Example XII The procedure of Example XI was repeated except that sodium fluoride was substituted for the sodium arsenate.

The results were as follows:

Extract+ Sodium Fluoride+ Water Water Only Time At the end of two days, all termites were dead.

Example XIII The procedure of Example IV was repeated except that a culture of the bacterium Serratia marcescens ATCC 14041 (American Type Culture) was added to the righthand filter-paper. The results were as follows:

Number of Living Termites on Time Bacterium +Neutral Fraction +Water Water Only qqwwxn-n HOHHNNDF 21 hours At the end of two days, one of the termites had died; at the end of three days, two of the termites had died; at

the end of six days, three of the termites had died; at the end of seven days, four of the termites had died; at the end of eight days, five of the termites had died; at the end of nine days, six of the termites had died. It appears that in this case, the termite extract has somewhat lessened the general lethal efiect of the bacterium; however, it was still sufficient to kill the termites and would have permitted the termites to return to their nest and spread the bacterium throughout the termite colony.

Example XIV The apparatus of the figure was used in accordance with the standard procedure to test the attractancy of a portion of mycelia of the known termite attractant Lenzites trabea with respect to termites. The filter paper at the left end of the tube was wetted with water. The filter paper at the right end of the tube included a portion of the mycelia of Lenzites trabea andvwater. The results were as follows:

Number of Living Termites on Time Water Only Lenzites trabea-l-Water 3 3 3 3 2 4 1 4 min 3 3 In each of the foregoing tests, eight termites were carefully placed in the center of the test apparatus. These termites were eastern subterranean termites Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar). Similar results were obtained with other termites, for example, R. virginicus (Banks).

The foregoing has provided a novel attractant for termites. In accordance with this invention, the attractant in combination with a chemical or biological barrier can provide assurance that the termites will be drawn to the barrier and thereby be destroyed.

I claim:

1. An attractant for termites comprising as its essential active ingredient the oxygenated hydrocarbon organic solvent extract of termite bodies.

2. The composition of claim 1 and a termiticide com patible with said extract.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,070,495 12/1962 .Esenther et al. l6748 OTHER REFERENCES Barnes et al.: Jour. Econ. Ent., vol. 47, No. 1, February Mallis: Handbook of Pest Control, 3rd edition, 1960,

10 pp. 227-235, published by MacNair-Dorland Co., New


. Assistant Examiners.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3070495 *Jun 27, 1961Dec 25, 1962Wisconsin Alumni Res FoundDecayed wood extract as termite attractant
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3337395 *Dec 27, 1963Aug 22, 1967Robert Z PageTermite control by induced epizootics of entomophagous microorganisms
US5874097 *Dec 11, 1997Feb 23, 1999Board Of Supervisors Of Louisiana State University And Agricultural And Mechanical CollegeCompositions and methods for detecting and killing termites
US6187328 *Feb 1, 1999Feb 13, 2001Fmc CorporationSectional bait station
US6352703Dec 8, 1998Mar 5, 2002Board Of Supervisors Of Louisiana State University And Agricultural And Mechanical CollegeApplying poison and feeding stimulant comprising naphthalene, 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenol, ergosterol, dioctyl adipate, and/or dioctyl phthalate; increased consumption
WO1999029172A1 *Dec 8, 1998Jun 17, 1999Univ Louisiana StateCompositions and methods for detecting and killing termites
U.S. Classification424/84, 424/DIG.110, 514/499, 514/755, 514/132, 514/737, 424/620, 424/676, 424/538, 514/122, 514/747
International ClassificationA01N63/02
Cooperative ClassificationY10S424/11, A01N63/02
European ClassificationA01N63/02