2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Develop management tools and strategies for wasp swarms at air traffic control towers.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Optimize chemical attractants, identify pheromones, and determine type, density, and location of traps to remove wasps. Documents Reimbursable agreement with Dept of Air Force, DOD.
Samples of wasps were obtained from four air traffic control towers in South Carolina, Georgia, and Texas, to determine the species makeup and abundances of paper wasps. Generally, these wasps were members of the Polistes fuscatus species group, which is the same as was found in previous studies of wasps at towers in Florida, and the majority of wasps collected were Polistes metricus. On site observation and collection of wasps at Shaw AFB showed that nearly all wasps inside the tower were female, and most wasps around the outside of the tower were male. Wasps on the outside of the tower appeared to orient to small holes in the structure, which is consistent with the hypothesis that they are attracted to pheromone of females that are on the inside. Traps and lures were provided to personnel at nine locations throughout the mid south and southeast US to evaluate the response of spring queens to a known chemical attractant, acetic acid plus isobutanol. Samples and information from 4 of these locations have been retrieved, showing a relatively weak response by Polistes metricus, and a relatively strong response by queens of two yellowjackets; Vespula squamosa and Vespula maculifrons.
The work reported here addresses objectives 1 and 3 of the parent project plan.