UC IPM Online UC ANR home page UC IPM home page


SKIP navigation


Research and IPM

Grants Programs: Projects Database

Project description

Baits for Ant Control in Citrus, Grapes, and Almonds. (99CC015)
Program UC IPM competitive research grants program
J.H. Klotz, Entomology, UC Riverside
M.K. Rust, Entomology, UC Riverside
Host/habitat Citrus; Grapes; Almonds
Pest Argentine Ant Linepithema humile; Pavement Ant Tetramorium caespitum; Field Ant Formica perpilosa; Southern Fire Ant Solenopsis xyloni
Discipline Entomology
Cultural Controls
Start year (duration)  1999 (One Year)
Objectives Formulate ant baits with delayed-action toxicants in collaboration with pesticide manufacturers.

Maintain laboratory colonies of several different species of ants that are pests of citrus, grapes, and almonds to determine their bait preference and the activity of delayed-action toxicants.

Evaluate efficacy of formulated baits in field tests.

We have developed methods to monitor treatment efficacy and determine bait preference for the different species of ants that are pests in citrus, grapes and almond crops. In laboratory tests with Argentine ants we found that toxicity to various borates (borax, TIM-BOR, and boric acid) is a function of the concentration of boron. We determined the optimal concentration of boric acid in sucrose water to use as a bait for Argentine ants in citrus, concentrations of boric acid above 1% being repellent. We also tested feeding preference of Argentine ants to various liquid baits, 25% sucrose water being the best candidate. Additions of protein to the sucrose bait may increase the efficiency of the bait. For ant control in grapes we designed a spray-rig mounted on an all terrain vehicle which delivered Lorsban the only registered insecticide for ant control in grapes. This spray-rig minimized drift and maximized ant-kill so that it did not interfere with a biological control program of vine mealybugs. We monitored efficacy of this spray treatment by using pitfall traps to estimate ant activity and the number of mealybugs on grapevines. This monitoring technique was successful and will enable us to evaluate bait efficacy and the effects on productivity in vineyards in the future. We investigated bait preference of the main pest ant of table grapes in the Coachella Valley, Formica perpilosa. One of the granular baits which was highly attractive to this ant was developed in our laboratory and incorporated boric acid as the active ingredient.

Top of page

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright 2016 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   web template revised: September 27, 2016 Contact webmaster.