Three components are considered when developing a baiting system: active ingredient; matrix; and termite biology. Attention to variations in termite biology is often limited, so a one-fits-all approach is chosen in the design. Efficacy of a bait system developed for a locally occurring species may not be successful unless it is adapted to other termite communities. The paper presents developments in Australia with two active ingredients, a juvenoid insecticide and a biocontrol control agent, Metharizium anisopliae. The influence of bait matrices on bait acceptance, transfer of the active ingredient to the colony, seasonal and diurnal patterns of activity, and factors that influence exploratory tunnelling are discussed. A model is presented that relates forager movement to the quantity and quality of food resources. A dynamic foraging process operates over the existence of a food resource: food resource is discovered, then termites are recruited in proportion to its resource value. Profitable feeding sites attract building activity and persist even when disturbed. Feeding depletes the food resource and termites at the site decline. Subterranean termite colonies utilise several food resources of varied size and quality simultaneously, and at any time and location differing proportions of site-specific or of transient foragers may be found. Understanding variation in biology during the development of bait systems influences development of bait systems for termite pest management.
Keywords: active ingredient, bait matrix, quantity of food resources, non-random foraging, subterranean