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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Establishing Fire Ant Biological Control Agents in the Coachella Valley of California

Location: Imported Fire Ant and Household Insects

Project Number: 6036-32000-048-05
Project Type: Trust

Start Date: Jan 15, 2014
End Date: Mar 31, 2016

Objective:
Establish imported fire ant biological control agents: fire ant decapitating phorid flies, microsporidian fire ant pathogens, and/or fire ant viruses, in California to enhance the integrated pest management of red imported fire ants.

Approach:
Potential biocontrol release sites will be identified by the Coachella Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District (CVMVCD) and ARS will select most suitable sites. Biocontrol agents: phorid flies, K. solenopsae microsporidium, and/or virus (SINV-3), will be reared or collected in FL and ARS will inoculate a minimum of 10 colonies per BC agent. At agreed upon sampling intervals (ca. quaterly), CVMVCD will send fire ants samples from release sites to ARS for pathogen and phorid fly detection by PCR. ARS will assess fire ant population densities and survey for biocontrol agents at release sites twice a year to determine establishment and spread. Additional releases will be made if necessary.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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