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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 » Publications at this Location » Publication #236052

Title: Microencapsulated bait: Does it work with Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)?

item WU, WEN-JER
item Vander Meer, Robert - Bob

Submitted to: Sociobiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/7/2009
Publication Date: 6/1/2009
Citation: Kafle, L., Wu, W., Vander Meer, R.K., Huang, Y., Shih, C. 2009. Microencapsulated bait: Does it work with Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)?. Sociobiology. 53(3):729-737.

Interpretive Summary: Imported fire ants cause over 6 billion dollars in annual control and damage costs in the United States and they are becoming a world-wide invasive pest ant. They infest Australia, Taiwan, China, Mexico and many of the Carribean Island countries. One of the problems with fire ant toxic bait control is that the carrier corn grits disintegrate under wet conditions, thus countries like Taiwan, where rainfall is great have a need to develop water resistant fire ant baits. Scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, USDA, ARS, Gainesville, Florida USA, and the Department of Entomology and Department of Biomedical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan collaborated to evaluate the capacity of a microencapsulated fire ant toxic bait to maintain integrity under humid/wet conditions. While the microencapsulation did protect the bait from moisture, the ants were not able to contact the phagostimulant, and therefore did not feed on the oil/toxicant mixture. Other polymers will be evaluated in the future.

Technical Abstract: The preference of red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta for microencapsulated (MC) pyriproxifen based corn grit baits (P-bait) was conducted in laboratory and field conditions. A positive correlation between the microencapsulation rate and water tolerance ability of P-bait was observed. A 20% increment of water tolerance ability of P-baits was observed when P-baits were microencapsulated with 5% poly-'-caprolatone. The microencapsulated and wet P-baits were less preferred than normal P-baits by the fire ants either in laboratory or field conditions. Based upon these results, poly-'-caprolatone coated fire ant baits cannot be considered as perfect fire ant baits.