Affordable Access

Persistence and movement of fipronil termiticide with under-slab and trenching treatments.

  • Ying, Guang-Guo1
  • Kookana, Rai S
  • 1 CSIRO Land and Water, Adelaide Laboratory, PMB 2, Glen Osmond, South Australia 5064, Australia. [email protected] , (Australia)
Published Article
Environmental toxicology and chemistry
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2006
PMID: 16916023


To have an effective barrier against invading termites around building structures and to assess the potential risks to the urban environment and human beings, we need to understand the fate of termiticides applied in urban soil. The movement and degradation of a new termiticide, fipronil, were investigated in Australian soils following standard termiticide treatment methods (surface application under slab and trenching treatments along walls). Surface application studies in three field sites showed slow dissipation and little movement for fipronil in all three soils under the simulated slab during a three-year period. The greatest mass of the chemical residues remained in the quartzite sand layer (thickness, 5 cm), and only small amounts of these were found to have migrated into the soil layers (depth, 0-15 cm) underneath the quartzite sand layer. Of the three metabolites (desulfinyl, sulfide, and sulfone) found in the soils, the sulfone derivative had the highest concentration. Persistence of fipronil was affected by application rate. The time for 50% loss of the total toxic components (fipronil plus its metabolites) in the quartzite sand layer (thickness, 5 cm) ranged from 200 to 326 d for the low rate (0.15 g active ingredient/m2) and from 633 to 674 d for the high application rate (3 g active ingredient/m2). One-year trenching studies at two sites in Adelaide (Roseworthy Farm [RF] and Terretfield [TF]; South Australia, Australia) showed that vertical movement and dissipation of fipronil occurred in the soils. The average concentration of fipronil in the trenches (depth, 0-30 cm) decreased from 33.7 to 14.9 mg/kg in the loam soil at the RF site and from 39.4 to 14.6 mg/kg in the clay soil at the TF site over the year. With time under the natural weather condition, fipronil and its derivatives were found in the deeper soil sections without treatment (depth, 20-30 cm). However, laboratory studies using repacked soil columns showed low mobility in the loam soil from the RF site and a variably charged clay soil from Malanda (Queensland, Australia) under intermittent wetting and drying conditions.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times