Preventative measures: The Pacific Ant Protection Plan is a proposal prepared for the Pacific Plant Protection Organisation and Regional Technical Meeting For Plant Protection. This plan aims to prevent the red imported fire ant and other invasive ant species with economic, environmental and/or social impacts, entering and establishing in or spreading between (or within) countries of the Pacific Region.
Chemical: T. albipes is difficult to control chemically because chemicals/poisons are not transferred between workers. Baits must be very appetizing to the ants so that large numbers will be individually affected. (Warner & Scheffrahn, 2004). Lindquist (undated) reports that water at a temperature of 49ºC or higher killed greater than 95% of T. albipes.
In a study of chemical bait efficacy on T. albipes, Imidacloprid, NecDew with DOT, 10ppm Thiamethoxam, and Terro yielded the highest mortality rates for bait traps. In laboratory colonies of T. albipes, NecDew containing 10 ppm of Thiamethoxam was the most effective treatment. Baits that were relatively effective in the laboratory experiment were Imidacloprid in 25%(w/v)sucrose water, NecDew with 10ppm DOT, 10ppm Thiamethoxam in 25%(w/v)sucrose water, and Terro Ant Killer 2. Other baits including residuals, other liquids, gels, one insecticidal dust, and an ultrasonic pest repeller were all unsatisfactory. (Warner & Scheffrahn, 2005). Another study reported that after one day, Talstar had the highest mortality rate, followed by Imidacloprid, and Thiamethoxam. A further study concluded that after 47 days, PJB+Thiamethoxam 10ppm treatment had a 100% mortality rate(MR), eclipsing Imadacloprid instant granules (84%MR) and Imadacloprid Pre-Empt (82%MR). Treatments that didn't vary from controls included Combat Bait Stations, Maxforce ant gel, Termidor, Indoxacarb surface, Demand CS, DeltaDust, XR007, and Whitmire ant bait. (Warner, 2003)
Biological: Tenbrink & Hara (1992) state that Anoplolepis longipes (long-legged ant) will displace T. albipes and is less likely to spread black pod disease of cocoa; however, A. longipes does tend homopterans. Another biological control option could be parasites, specifically the ones that live in the nests of T. albipes and stunt development of ants in juvenile stages. (Tenbrink & Hara, 1992).
Physical: Trim trees and shrubs that surround nests to prevent bridging to other vegetation. Do not allow vegetation to touch exterior walls of any edifice. (Warner et al, 2002).
Sugiura (2008) reports the use of hot water treatment to destroy T. albipes in soil and potted plants. Exposure to hot water at =47°C effectively killed the ant. Temperatures of up to 49°C are non-phytotoxic (Tsang et al., 1995 in Sugiura, 2008), and hot water has no negative environmental effects.
1. Harris, R.; Abbott, K.; Barton, K.; Berry, J.; Don, W.; Gunawardana, D.; Lester, P.; Rees, J.; Stanley, M.; Sutherland, A.; Toft, R. 2005: Invasive ant pest risk assessment project for Biosecurity New Zealand. Series of unpublished Landcare Research contract reports to Biosecurity New Zealand. BAH/35/2004-1.
Summary: The invasive ant risk assessment project, prepared for Biosecurity New Zealand by Landcare Research, synthesises information on the ant species that occur in New Zealand (native and introduced species), and on invasive ants that pose a potential threat to New Zealand.
There is a great deal of information in this risk assessment on invasive ant species that is of global interest, including; biology, distribution, pest status, control technologies.
The assessment project has five sections.1) The Ants of New Zealand: information sheets on all native and introduced ants established in New Zealand
2) Preliminary invasive ant risk assessment: risk scorecard to quantify the threat to New Zealand of 75 ant species.
3) Information sheets on invasive ant threats: information sheets on all ant species scored as medium to high risk (n = 39).
4) Pest risk assessment: A detailed pest risk assessment for the eight species ranked as having the highest potential risk to New Zealand (Anoplolepis gracilipes, Lasius neglectus, Monomorium destructor, Paratrechina longicornis, Solenopsis geminata, Solenopsis richteri, Tapinoma melanocephalum, Wasmannia auropunctata)
5) Ranking of high risk species: ranking of the eight highest risk ant species in terms of the risks of entry, establishment, spread, and detrimental consequences.
NB. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) is considered to be the worst ant pest in the world. However, Solenopsis invicta was specifically excluded from consideration in this risk assessment as this species has already been subject to detailed consideration by Biosecurity New Zealand
(This invasive ant pest risk assessment was funded by Biosecurity New Zealand and Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. Undertaken by Landcare Research in collaboration with Victoria University of Wellington and Otago Museum)
http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/research/biocons/invertebrates/Ants/ant_pest_risk.asp [Accessed 20 May 2007]
2. McGlynn, T.P. 1999. The Worldwide Transfer of Ants: Geographical Distribution and Ecological Invasions, Journal of Biogeography 26(3): 535-548.
4. Sarnat, E. M. (December 4, 2008) PIAkey: Identification guide to ants of the Pacific Islands, Edition 2.0, Lucid v. 3.4. USDA/APHIS/PPQ Center for Plant Health Science and Technology and University of California — Davis.
Summary: PIAkey (Pacific Invasive Ant key) is an electronic guide designed to assist users identify invasive ant species commonly encountered in the Pacific Island region. The guide covers four subfamilies, 20 genera and 44 species.
The primary tool offered by PIAkey is an interactive key designed using Lucid3 software. In addition to being fully illustrated, the Lucid key allows users to enter at multiple character points, skip unknown characters, and find the most efficient path for identifying the available taxa. Each species is linked to its own web page. These species pages, or factsheets, are linked to an illustrated glossary of morphological terms, and include the following seven sections: 1) Overview of the species; 2) Diagnostic chart illustrating a unique combination of identification characters; 3) Comparison chart illustrating differences among species of similar appearance; 4) Video clip of the species behavior at food baits (where available); 5) Image gallery that includes original specimen images and live images (where available); 6) Nomenclature section detailing the taxonomic history of the species, and 7) Links and references section for additional literature and online resources.
Available from: http://www.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/PIAkey/index.html [Accessed 17 December 2008]
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