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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 #439093

Research Project: Development of Regulatory Treatments for Imported Fire Ants in Nursery Stock, 2020-2021

Location: Imported Fire Ant and Household Insects Research

Project Number: 6036-32000-051-16-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2020
End Date: Jul 31, 2021

Objective:
To prevent the spread of imported fire ants in the USA by improving treatments used to maintain the Federal Imported Fire Ant Quarantine.

Approach:
1) Develop method(s) that consistently disinfest imported fire ants (IFA) from ball and burlap (B&B) root balls of field harvested nursery stock by determining whether IFA colonies that reside in B&B root balls can be eliminated with novel bait formulations such as hydrogel and paste bait carriers. 2) Improve the efficacy of commercial IFA baits that are exposed to moisture/irrigation. Because moisture degrades bait formulations the efficacy of a water-resistant fire ant bait and a standard commercial fire ant bait, both exposed to irrigation, will be compared on IFA colonies. 3) Improve IFA treatment methods of B&B nursery stock in collaboration with the Tennessee State University, Otis L. Floyd Nursery Research Center (TSU). ARS will conduct IFA alate bioassays of TSU post-harvest drench and injection trials on large B&B root balls, which are difficult to disinfest of IFA. Soil extracted from the treated root balls will be tested by ARS in laboratory bioassays that use female IFA reproductives, which can start colonies in root balls.