Orlando Manuel Labrusco Félix Guerreiro
Termite species in the Azores. A holistic approach to the problem
Unidade de I&D: GBA - Grupo da Biodiversidade dos Açores (Azorean Biodiversity Group)
Estado: ongoing

“The main strategy for a successful termite control and management in Azores implies the implementation of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan. Thus, I will conduct research that will allow the improvement of a number of techniques for fighting the spread of termite species using a multidisciplinary approach and sustainable environmental strategies.

  • Monitoring of areas affected by all the termite species occurring in the Azorean archipelago;
    • Monitor the drywood termite Cryptotermes brevis using chromotropic sticky traps in the buildings inside its known area of distribution;
    • Monitor the subterranean termites Reticulitermes grassei and R. flavipes within its known area of distribution, using subterranean traps and different attracting baits;
    • Monitor the dampwood termite Kalotermes flavicollis using chromotropic sticky traps in Terceira island;
  • Develop and apply theoretical models to understand the evolution and spread of termite species;
    • Simulation of the probability of occurrence of species using ecological niche models for the species Reticulitermes grassei, R. flavipes, Kalotermes flavicollis (species present in the Azores) and a potential new invasive termite species, Coptotermes formosanus;
    • Improvement of the Cellular Automata Model developed in Guerreiro (2009) to simulate the spread of the C. brevis in the major cities of the Azorean archipelago
    • Development of a model to determine the climate influence on the swarming of the species C. brevis;
  • Regarding the termite C. brevis, to detect, analyse and identify semiochemicals that might act upon the behaviour and/or physiology of this serious and widespread pest, namely:
    • To collect adults during the aerial phase, to obtain virgin insects as well as freshly mated ones.
    • To extract, analyse and identify the volatile substances emitted by these insects, that might act as pheromones.
    • To test the effect of some of these substances upon the colonization behaviour of C. brevis, aiming at their potential use to bait traps for the capture of alates.
  • To study the effect of some natural insecticides containing essential oils, to protect wood structures, from termite colonisation by C. brevis, namely:
    • To compare the efficiency of some of these insecticides, in preventing the colonization of wood by termites.
    • For the most successful ones, to collect, analyse and identify the volatile substances emitted by the wood after application of the insecticides.
    • To test the effect of these substances upon the behaviour of C. brevis.
  • Contribute for the implementation of an Urban Integrate Pest Management (IPM) for the management of Azorean termite species.”