Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: TERMITES: CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL CONTROL FOR INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT OF INVASIVE SPECIES Title: Evaluation of kukui oil (Aleurites moluccana) for controlling termites

Authors
item Nakayama, Francis
item Osbrink, Weste

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 12, 2009
Publication Date: February 18, 2010
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/41324
Citation: Nakayama, F.S., Osbrink, W.L., 2010. Evaluation of kukui oil (Aleurites moluccana) for controlling termites. Industrial Crops and Products. 31 (2): 312–315.

Interpretive Summary: The oil from the nut of the kukui plant, Aleurites moluccana (L.) Willd., has been reported to protect canoes against marine borer damage and is a natural product that can be used for wood preservation. However, the application of many chemical-based pesticides to protect wood has been greatly restricted in the United States and elsewhere. The objective of this study was to determine whether the kukui oil would have termite control properties. Oil obtained by mechanical pressing of the nut from the kukui plant was used to treat southern yellow pine (Pinus spp.) wood. Woodblocks were saturated with various mixtures of the oil and acetone using a vacuum-pressure-infiltration chamber to attain a range of oil contents in the wood. Laboratory studies with the Formosan termite showed that the oil-treated wood was resistant to termite damage when the wood contained >27% kukui oil by weight. Results also indicated that the oil acted primarily as a feeding deterrent and not a toxic agent.

Technical Abstract: The application of many chemical-based pesticides to protect wood has been greatly restricted in the United States and elsewhere. A possible natural product that can be used for wood preservation is the oil from the nut of the kukui plant, Aleurites moluccana (L.) Willd., which has been reported, based on native folklore, to protect canoes against marine borer damage. The objective of this study was to determine whether the kukui oil would have termite control properties. Oil obtained by mechanical pressing of the nut from the kukui plant was used to treat southern yellow pine (Pinus spp.) wood. Woodblocks were impregnated with various mixtures of the oil and acetone using a vacuum-pressure-infiltration chamber to attain a range of oil contents in the wood. Laboratory studies with the Formosan termite (Coptotermes formosanus) showed that the oil-treated wood was resistant to termite damage when the wood contained >27% kukui oil by weight. Results also indicated that the oil acted primarily as a feeding deterrent and not a toxic agent.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page