Attractiveness of Gel, Granular, Paste, and Solid Formulations of Ant Bait Insecticides to the Little Fire Ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Hara, Arnold H.
Aoki, Kris L.
Cabral, Susan K.
Niino-DuPonte, Ruth
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Hawaiian Entomological Society
The little fire ant, Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), was first detected in plant nurseries in the Puna district of Hawaii island in 1999. W. auropunctata has since spread throughout Hawaii island, and is reported in homes, landscapes, plant nurseries and orchards, and forested areas. This study evaluated: 1) the attractiveness of several granular, liquid, gel, and paste insecticidal ant baits for homeowner and commercial use as compared with the standard granular baits containing hydramethylnon known to be attractive to and effective against W. auropunctata, and 2) the effects of weathering on granular bait attractiveness. Field attractiveness choice tests were conducted in an infested 37.2-m2 plot, and worker ant foraging and recruitment were recorded at 15-min intervals for 2 h. Granular and paste products that were as attractive as standard granular baits (Amdro Fire Ant Bait, Probait) included others formulated with hydramethylnon, abamectin, hydramethylnon and S-methoprene, indoxacarb, fipronil, and metaflumizone. None of the gel or liquid ant bait products evaluated (active ingredients hydramethylnon, sodium tetraborate pentahydrate, thiameth- oxam, fipronil or indoxacarb) were attractive to foraging workers. Attraction of these baits could possibly be improved with inclusion of preferred food sources, such as peanut butter or animal-based protein. Attractiveness of granular ant baits exposed to 7 and 14 days of weathering fell by 40 to 96% as compared to fresh deposits. Corn grit baits should be formulated to preserve attractiveness in tropical environments with high rainfall.
Wasmannia auropunctata, ant control, hydramethylnon, abamectin, S-methoprene, weathered bait
Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society (2014) 46:45-54.
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