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Indoor and Outdoor Foraging Locations of Pharaoh Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Control Strategies Using Bait Stations

David H. Oi, Karen M. Vail, David F. Williams and Donald N. Bieman
The Florida Entomologist
Vol. 77, No. 1 (Mar., 1994), pp. 85-91
DOI: 10.2307/3495874
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3495874
Page Count: 7
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Indoor and Outdoor Foraging Locations of Pharaoh Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and Control Strategies Using Bait Stations
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Abstract

While Pharaoh ants, Monomorium pharaonis (L.), are generally considered indoor pests, we observed these ants foraging at 51.7% of outdoor monitoring sites located on exterior wall surfaces of apartment buildings in contrast to 11.6% of indoor sites. The number of ants per infested monitoring site did not vary significantly with counts averaging from 46 to 118. Commercial bait stations containing a delayed action toxicant placed solely on the exterior walls of buildings, or outdoors, provided a 94% reduction in Pharaoh ant numbers within 1 week in contrast to a 9% reduction in untreated buildings. This was similar to the reductions from buildings treated with bait stations placed both indoors and outdoors. While a total of 3 ants were found indoors in treated apartments, indoor counts from untreated buildings also were low. Initial outdoor ant counts were 2 to 20 times higher than indoor counts, and the significant population reductions were attributed to a reduction in counts from outdoor sites. /// Anuque generalmente se considera que las hormigas faraónas, Monomorium pharaonis (L.), son plagas de puertas adentro, observamos estas hormigas en 51.7% de los sitios de monitoreo de puertas afuera sobre las superficies de paredes del exterior de edificos de apartamentos, en contraste con 11.6% de los sitios de puertas adentro. El número de hormigas por sitio de monitoreo infestado no varió significativamente, el rango de conteos siendo 46-118. Las estaciones de cebo de acción toxica retardada de preparación comercial colocadas en las paredes exteriores de los edificos, y proveyeron una reducción en números de hormigas faraónas a 94% dentro en una semana, en contrastea una reducción de 9% en edificios sin tratamiento. Eso fue similar a las reducciones en edificios tratados con estaciones de cebo colocadas afuera y adentro. Aunque un total de 3 hormigas fueron encontradas dentro de apartamentos tratados, conteos dentro de efificios no tratados tambien fueron bajos. Conteos iniciales de hormigas puertas afuera fueron entre 2-20 veces más altos que los conteos adentro, y las reducciones significantes de poblaciones se atribuyeron a una reducción en conteos de los sitios externos. Pharaoh ants, Monomorium pharaonis (L.), are a major indoor pest throughout the world, often occurring in hospitals, food establishments, office buildings, and apartment complexes (Edwards 1986, Smith 1965). The use of baits impregnated with delayed action toxicants or insect growth regulators is an important strategy for the control of ants. It promotes the dissemination of the active ingredient to an entire colony (Lofgren 1986) and can reduce pesticide exposure in sensitive areas such as hospitals or food preparation areas (Edwards 1986). For Pharaoh ant control, Edwards (1986) recommended that baits be placed at foraging sites, nest locations, and adjoining areas. Labels on commercial ant baits generally suggest that stations be placed indoors, near foraging trails and possible nest sites. Bieman & Wojcik (1990) suggested the treatment of the periphery of buildings because structure-invading ants may live outdoors. Thus, the determination of nest and foraging sites is important to the success of baiting strategies for Pharaoh ant control. In temperate areas, Pharaoh ants usually establish nests indoors (Sudd 1962, Smith 1965). In the tropics, or in areas where warm temperatures are maintained, such as refuse dumps, outdoor nests can be established (Kohn & Vlček 1986). While nest locations were not reported, Haack (1991) reported that Pharaoh ants foraged on the exterior periphery of houses in Texas during the spring and summer, when temperatures were warm and outdoor food sources were available. In this study we document the foraging of Pharaoh ants outdoors in Florida, and compare the efficacy of placing commercial bait stations on exterior building surfaces, or outdoors, versus outdoors and indoors to control Pharaoh ants.

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