Submitted to: Extension Publications
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/12/2007
Publication Date: 6/1/2007
Citation: Williams, D.F., Davis, T.S., Oi, D.H., Pereira, R.M., Bolton, H.T., Horton, P.M., Williams, H.G. 2007. Biological control of red imported fire ants. Extension Publications. 62pp. Interpretive Summary: This manual examines the current status of self-sustaining biological control agents for use against fire ants, and provides a practical reference for managers, pest control specialists, extension agents, and field workers to implement biological control programs against IFAs. It includes information on the biocontrol agents currently being used and how to implement an integrated program.
Technical Abstract: Two species of Imported Fire Ants (IFA), the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, and the Black Imported Fire Ant, S. richteri Forel, were introduced into the United States in the early 1900s and currently inhabit over 320 million acres in the southern United States and Puerto Rico. Red IFAs have continued to spread rapidly and have now become established in California and New Mexico. IFAs cause many problems for humans, domestic animals, and agriculture. Between 30% to 60% of the people in the infested areas are stung each year. More than 1% of those people are hypersensitive, which means that over 200,000 persons a year may require a physician’s aid for fire ant stings. Well-documented losses in agricultural products such as hay, soybeans, and cattle have reached into hundreds of millions of dollars. In addition, IFAs destroy many ground-inhabiting animals and reduce the number of different species in many areas