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Evaluation of kukui oil (Aleurites moluccana) for controlling termites
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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. Wood blocks 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.
Industrial crops and products 2010 Mar., v. 31, no. 2
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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