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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Liquid baits control Argentine ants sustainably in coastal vineyards

  • Author(s): Cooper, Monica L;
  • Daane, Kent M;
  • Nelson, Erik H;
  • Varela, Lucia G.;
  • Battany, Mark;
  • Tsutsui, Neil D;
  • Rust, M K
  • et al.

Liquid ant baits are an alternative to broad-spectrum insecticide sprays conventionally used to control Argentine ants. We review the development of liquid ant baits, which capitalize on the ants’ sugar-feeding requirements and social structure to deliver small doses of toxicant throughout the colony. The ant bait program described here, developed for commercial vineyards, also has the potential to facilitate the use of biological controls for mealybug and scale pests. The implementation of an Argentine ant bait program will enable grape growers to target other pests more selectively with insecticides, further contributing to their sustainable viticulture practices.

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