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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Williams, David
item Patterson, Richard

Submitted to: Chinese Journal of Pest Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/18/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The Pharoah ant, Monomorium pharaonis (L.) Is a pest that occurs throughout much of the world. It is considered an urban pest because it invades dwellings such as houses, apartments, bakeries, hospitals, etc. Pharaoh ants are difficult to control because of their ability to reproduce by budding, initiation of new colonies without the presence of a queen, and inaccessible nests. Current control techniques use toxic baits, dusts or sprays. Baits are the most effective and may contain stomach poisons (metabolic inhibitors) and the IGRs, juvenile hormone analogues, reproductive inhibitors, or chitin synthesis inhibitors as the active ingredients. In addition to several commercial formulations available, the IGRs fenoxycarb and pyriproxyfen were tested against natural infestations of Pharaoh ants and gave excellent control.

Technical Abstract: The Pharaoh ant, Monomorium pahraonis (Linnaeus), has become a major indoor pest in most parts of the world. It normally nests indoors and infestations usually are in large office buildings and apartment complexes, factories, food establishments, and hospitals. It causes problems in hospitals by contaminating equipment and sterile packaging, penetrating intravenous solutions and tubing, and feeding on dressed wounds. The worker ants are capable of carrying several bacterial pathogens including Salmonella, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Clostridium, and Pseudomonas spp. Control techniques utilizing sprays and dusts usually are not effective against Pharaoh ants and the control method of choice is the use of toxic baits, either alone or in combination with conventional applications of residual insecticides. Although commercially available baits sometimes produce complete control, there are still many control failures. Scientists at the Center for Medical Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology showed that in acceptance tests with fats and oils, lard and peanut butter oil were more acceptable to the Pharaoh ant, than 26 other substances. Tests with the insect growth regulator, fenoxycarb at 0.5, 0.25, and 0.1 percent concentrations in peanut butter oil gave the most dramatic reduction of the colony. Therefore, fenoxycarb has shown to be a very promising chemical for use in baits against the Pharaoh ant.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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