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Response of Argentine ants and red imported fire ants to permethrin-impregnated plastic strips: foraging rates, colonization of potted soil, and differential mortality


Response of Argentine ants and red imported fire ants to permethrin-impregnated plastic strips: foraging rates, colonization of potted soil, and differential mortality



Journal of Economic Entomology 98(6): 2089-2094



ISSN/ISBN: 0022-0493

PMID: 16539136

DOI: 10.1603/0022-0493-98.6.2089

This study investigated the effects of the permethrin-impregnated plastic on ant mortality and foraging rates, and tested its potential for preventing ants from colonizing potted soil. Direct exposure to the plastic for as short as 1 min caused significant mortality of both red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, and Argentine ants, Linepithema humile (Mayr); however, red imported fire ants were more susceptible than Argentine ants. Knockdown of virtually all ants initially occurred within 15 min after exposure. However, some moribund ants recovered from the effects within 24 h. For example, after 1 min of direct exposure to the permethrin-impregnated plastic, 70% of Argentine ants and 5% of red imported fire ants recovered from the treatment. In established colonies of Argentine ants, significantly fewer ants foraged for food up posts treated with the plastic compared with untreated posts. In addition, colonies responded to introduction of the treatment by significantly reducing their overall foraging rates, even on untreated posts. When pots filled with moistened soil were introduced into established ant colonies, 82% of Argentine ants and 99% of red imported fire ants moved into the soil. In contrast, when a 1-cm-wide coil of the plastic was placed under the pot, no ants moved into the soil. The potential for use of these materials in nursery production is discussed.

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Accession: 068827227

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