Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel 'attract-and-kill' approach could help tackle Argentine ants

Date:
January 6, 2014
Source:
University of California - Riverside
Summary:
After being inadvertently introduced in the United States from South America, Argentine ants have successfully invaded urban, agricultural, and natural settings nationwide. Entomologists have now developed a "pheromone-assisted technique" as an economically viable approach to maximize the efficacy of conventional sprays targeting the invasive Argentine ant. They supplemented insecticide sprays with (Z)-9-hexadecenal, a pheromone compound attractive to ants, and were able to divert Argentine ants from their trails and nest entrances.

Argentine ants.
Credit: D-H Choe Lab, UC Riverside.

After being inadvertently introduced in the United States from South America, Argentine ants have successfully invaded urban, agricultural, and natural settings nationwide. In urban California, the Argentine ant is among the primary pest ants. For example, this particular species of ants makes up 85 percent of ants sampled by commercial pest control companies in just the Greater San Diego Area.

Entomologists at the University of California, Riverside have now developed a "pheromone-assisted technique" as an economically viable approach to maximize the efficacy of conventional sprays targeting the invasive Argentine ant.

They supplemented insecticide sprays with (Z)-9-hexadecenal, a pheromone compound attractive to ants, and were able to divert Argentine ants from their trails and nest entrances. Lured by the pheromone, the ants were eventually exposed to the insecticide residue, and killed.

Study results appeared Dec. 23, 2013, in the online fast track edition of the Journal of Economic Entomology.

"Our experiments with fipronil and bifenthrin sprays indicate that the overall kill of these insecticides on Argentine ant colonies is substantially improved -- by 57 to 142 percent -- by incorporating (Z)-9-hexadecenal in the sprays," said Dong-Hwan Choe, an assistant professor of entomology and the research project leader, whose lab focuses on urban entomology, insect behavior and chemical ecology.

According to Choe's research team, the current "attract-and-kill" approach, once it is successfully implemented in practical pest management programs, could potentially provide maximum control efficacy with reduced amount of insecticides applied in the environment.

"Given the amount of insecticides applied today to urban settings for Argentine ant control and the impact of these insecticides on urban waterways, it is critical to develop alternative integrated pest management strategies in order to decrease the overall amounts of insecticides applied and found in urban waterways, while still providing effective control of the target ant species," Choe said.

He explained that other studies have explored the possibility of using the synthetic pheromone (Z)-9-hexadecenal for Argentine management program. These studies, however, only explored the use of the pheromone to disrupt the foraging of Argentine ants.

"What makes our study unique is that we combine the insecticide sprays and low-dose pheromone to attract ants," Choe said. "Our ultimate goal is to minimize the impact of pest damages on urban life with, at the same time, no -- or minimal -- negative impact on the environment, non-target organisms, and human health."

According to Choe, from a practical standpoint, future development of the proper formulation of (Z)-9-hexadecenal would help improve its efficacy and usability.

"The physicochemical characteristics of the pheromone formulation are important factors in improving the persistence of its effect," he said. "Proper packaging also would be necessary because the pheromone's stability could be compromised if the pheromone is mixed with the insecticide formulation and held in long-term storage. Some of these questions could be addressed with assistance from industry collaborators."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Riverside. The original article was written by Iqbal Pittalwala. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Choe, Dong-Hwan; Tsai, Kasumi; Lopez, Carlos M.; Campbell, Kathleen. Pheromone-Assisted Techniques to Improve the Efficacy of Insecticide Sprays Against Linepithema humile (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Economic Entomology, December 2013

Cite This Page:

University of California - Riverside. "Novel 'attract-and-kill' approach could help tackle Argentine ants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140106160043.htm>.
University of California - Riverside. (2014, January 6). Novel 'attract-and-kill' approach could help tackle Argentine ants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140106160043.htm
University of California - Riverside. "Novel 'attract-and-kill' approach could help tackle Argentine ants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140106160043.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) — An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins