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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGY, GENOMICS, AND INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT OF INVASIVE ANTS

Location: Imported Fire Ant and Household Insects

Title: Urban Pest Management of Ants in California

Authors
item Klotz, John -
item Hansen, Laurel -
item Field, Herb -
item Rust, Michael -
item Oi, David
item Kupfer, Ken -

Submitted to: Extension Publications
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: January 4, 2010
Publication Date: September 2, 2010
Citation: Klotz, J., Hansen, L., Field, H., Rust, M., Oi, D.H., Kupfer, K. 2010. Urban Pest Management of Ants in California. Extension Publications. 3524:1-69.

Interpretive Summary: Keeping pace with the dynamic and evolving landscape of invasive pest ants in California presents a formidable challenge to pest management industry. Pest management professionals (PMPs) are on the frontlines when it comes to battling these exotic ant pests, and often are the first ones to intercept accidental introductions. Developing effective control strategies for various pest ants is an important goal; however, the use of insecticides should not be the only means. Given the general public’s increasing environmental awareness, new and emerging regulatory issues with pesticide runoff into urban waterways, and the structural pest control industry’s adoption of “greener” Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies, there is a growing demand for less-toxic, more target-specific, and environmentally-friendly pest control techniques. Successful IPM of urban pest ants requires close collaboration with the PMP and homeowner to implement non-chemical control strategies. This book provides in-depth descriptions of IPM strategies for ants in general and more specific guidelines for over 15 major or emerging pest ant species in California. Also included are identifying characteristics and pertinent biology of these ants. The book is to serve as a useful reference to both PMPs and homeowners in order to foster their collaborative effort in finding more environmentally friendly solutions to urban ant problems.

Technical Abstract: Keeping pace with the dynamic and evolving landscape of invasive ants in California presents a formidable challenge to the pest management industry. Pest management professionals (PMPs) are on the frontlines when it comes to battling these exotic ant pests, and are often the first ones to intercept these accidental introductions. Developing effective control strategies for various pest ants is an important goal; however, the use of insecticides should not be the only means. Given the general public’s increasing environmental awareness, new and emerging regulatory issues with pesticide runoff into urban waterways, and the structural pest control industry’s adoption of “greener” Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies, there is a growing demand for less-toxic, more target-specific, and environmentally-friendly pest control techniques. Successful IPM of urban pest ants requires close collaboration with the pest management professional (PMP) and homeowner to implement non-chemical control strategies. This book provides in-depth descriptions of IPM strategies for ants in general which include 1) habitat modification; 2) physical/mechanical barriers to exclude ants; 3) biological methods such as natural enemies and biocontrol agents; and, 4) chemical methods including repellents, contact insecticides, and baits. More specific guidelines for over 15 major or emerging pest ant species in California are discussed. Because control strategies are often tailored to the unique biology of each pest ant species, identifying characteristics and biology of these ants are provided. The book is to serve as a useful reference to both PMPs and homeowners in order to foster their collaborative effort in finding more environmentally friendly solutions to urban ant problems.

Last Modified: 12/25/2014
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