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#1
Old 02-19-2012, 10:27 PM
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Is Dursban still any good for killing termites?

In the 80s, I had a friend say that Dursban was the go-to chemical to kill termites. In the late 90s, I had an exterminator friend tell me that termites were now resistant to Dursban. In the late 2000s, I saw that Dursban was still selling like hotcakes at Home Improvement stores, and, IIRC, online references to home termite extermination just sings the praises of it.
So, what's the SD?

Thanks,
hh
#2
Old 02-19-2012, 10:59 PM
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I have never seen any evidence that termites have developed resistance to Dursban (Chlorpyrifos), and I can't think of any plausible mechanism by which they could. Resistance can only develop if it provides an animal with some sort of reproductive advantage, and the nature of Chlorpyrifos use in termite control fairly much precludes that. It's conceivable, though unlikely, that some drywood termites may be resistant, but the majority subterranean termites doesn't seem possible.
#3
Old 02-19-2012, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake View Post
I have never seen any evidence that termites have developed resistance to Dursban (Chlorpyrifos), and I can't think of any plausible mechanism by which they could. Resistance can only develop if it provides an animal with some sort of reproductive advantage, and the nature of Chlorpyrifos use in termite control fairly much precludes that. It's conceivable, though unlikely, that some drywood termites may be resistant, but the majority subterranean termites doesn't seem possible.
Thank you very much, Blake!

Last edited by handsomeharry; 02-19-2012 at 11:14 PM.
#4
Old 02-20-2012, 12:18 AM
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Location: Missoula, Montana, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake View Post
Resistance can only develop if it provides an animal with some sort of reproductive advantage
Like not being killed by a pesticide?

I know some mosquitoes have evolved resistance to DDT; what makes Chlorpyrifos and termites any different?
#5
Old 02-20-2012, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derleth View Post
Like not being killed by a pesticide?

I know some mosquitoes have evolved resistance to DDT; what makes Chlorpyrifos and termites any different?
Termites are social animals, so you can't just select for individuals, you have to select for colonies. While it's easy to kill 999 mosquitoes and leave one resistant survivor, under what circumstances could you kill 999 entire colonies and leave one surviving colony?

Last edited by Blake; 02-20-2012 at 12:23 AM.
#6
Old 02-25-2012, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake View Post
Termites are social animals, so you can't just select for individuals, you have to select for colonies.
Which has happened, given that termites exist, so it must be possible.
Quote:
While it's easy to kill 999 mosquitoes and leave one resistant survivor, under what circumstances could you kill 999 entire colonies and leave one surviving colony?
I don't know. You tell me. How did the populations of social proto-termites evolve into termites, and why can't environmental toxins play a role in a similar evolutionary process?
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