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Title: Musings on the management of Nylanderia fulva Crazy Ants

item Oi, David

Submitted to: Imported Fire Ants Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/20/2013
Publication Date: 10/1/2013
Citation: Oi, D.H. 2013. Musings on the management of Nylanderia fulva Crazy Ants. Imported Fire Ants Conference Proceedings. 29:25.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Nylanderia fulva is an invasive crazy ant that can inundate landscapes and structures. This invasive ant has been called the Caribbean crazy ant in Florida and the Rasberry [sic] crazy ant in Texas. The species was thought to be Nylanderia pubens or Nylanderia near pubens, in Florida and Texas, respectively. However, they have been shown to be the same species, Nylanderia fulva, which is native to South America. A proposal was submitted to the Entomological Society of America (ESA) for N. fulva to have an official ESA common name of “tawny crazy ant”, where “fulva” is Latin for tawny. N. fulva is continuing to spread, with infestations being reported from four new counties in Texas, and one each in Mississippi and Florida over the past year (March 2012-13). The new infestation from Bay County, Florida is the first from Florida’s panhandle. Attempts to control this ant have often led to frustration, because commercial ant baits are either not foraged upon, or do not cause enough mortality of the overwhelming populations. Similarly, residual insecticide applications are rendered useless when the ants no longer contact the insecticide when they walk over the bodies of their dead. Laboratory studies have shown inconsistent results with insect growth regulating (IGR) baits, however a non-IGR liquid bait consisting of Maxforce Quantum ant bait (0.03% imidacloprid) diluted in sugar solution resulted in 98% reduction in brood in 3 weeks. The diluted Quantum bait plus a stain (Fluorescent Brightner-28) was dispensed in a field study using bait stations that held large volumes of liquid bait (ca. 150 ml). While N. fulva populations were not controlled by the treatment, stained ants were collected over 30.5 m (100 ft.) from bait stations, indicating the potential for the bait to be distributed to distant nests. Extensive bait distribution from bait application locations will be needed to reduce source populations of N. fulva that often reside in unmanaged and inaccessible habitats that are typically not treated. While certain baits can cause consistent N. fulva colony mortality, efficient methods are needed to dispense sufficient amounts of palatable bait over extended time periods in order to significantly suppress extremely large populations of the invasive N. fulva.