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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Imported Fire Ant and Household Insects Research » Research » Research Project #437021

Research Project: Wasmannia Auropunctata – A New Emerging Threat in North Central Florida

Location: Imported Fire Ant and Household Insects Research

Project Number: 6036-32000-051-09-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2019
End Date: Aug 31, 2021

Objective:
Define the currently known Wasmannia auropunctata (LFA, little fire ant) populations and search for unknown infestations, then use the information to develop predictive models of future expansion.

Approach:
To achieve the project goals the following will be carried out: 1) perform targeted field surveys for little fire ant (LFA) in North Central Florida to determine the number of distinct populations and to delimit the individual populations. 2) The range, population density, and associated environmental conditions will be determined and used to develop a predictive model of the potential geographic range that this species could occupy in the United States. 3) Information about the invasive species, its impact, and management options will be communicated to general and specialist audiences through the Invasive Ant Boot Camp, the School of Ants citizen science project (www.schoolofants.org), online (UF EDIS) informational documents, and printed materials for distribution. Citizen science is expected to aid in locating disjunct populations. 4) In collaboration with ARS, the effectiveness of different chemical controls will be evaluated in lab and small, controlled field plots.