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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 #312971

Research Project: Invasive Ant Biology and Control

Location: Imported Fire Ant and Household Insects Research

Title: A Review of the Biological Control of Fire Ants

item Oi, David
item Porter, Sanford
item Valles, Steven

Submitted to: Myrmecological News
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/11/2015
Publication Date: 9/11/2015
Citation: Oi, D.H., Porter, S.D., Valles, S.M. 2015. A Review of the Biological Control of Fire Ants. Myrmecological News. 21:101-116.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The suppression of well-established invasive ants will likely require biological control by natural enemies. This approach is self-sustaining and can impact undetected or inaccessible populations that are the source of the continual presence and expansion of the invaders. There is an ongoing effort to introduce and distribute biological control agents against fire ants in the USA. Eight natural enemies, consisting of two pathogens, a microsporidium and a virus, plus six species of parasitoid flies in the genus Pseudacteon are now established. These biological control agents are host specific and negatively impact fire ants to varying degrees. Fire ant populations in the presence of biological control agents are often reduced (based on number of ants per nest), but the number of nests may not decline. The currently established biocontrol agents are acting as expected by weakening fire ant colonies, and contributing to the potential cumulative attrition of colony vigor.