Exotic ant incursions are becoming more frequent around the globe, and management with toxic baits is a suitable strategy for most species. Crazy ants, (Latreille) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), however, are notoriously difficult to attract to commercial baits, which are generally tailored to the preferences of fire ants. We tested P. longicornis preferences for various food types and commercial ant baits. Baits trialed were commercially available products Amdro, Maxforce, Xstinguish (nontoxic monitoring version), Presto, and tuna (in spring water), sugar water (25%), boric acid (1% in 25% sugar water), and deionized water. Tuna and Xstinguish, along with sugar water and sugar water boric acid, were the most attractive baits to P. longicornis foragers. The granular baits (Maxforce, Amdro, and Presto) were not as attractive to P. longicornis foragers. A decrease in temperature from summer (30°C) to autumn (23°C) trials did not seem to affect the food preferences of P. longicornis. Although P. longicornis recruitment was substantially lower during trials where there was concurrent high native ant abundance and diversity, P. longicornis still recruited to preferred baits in numbers higher than any other species. Given that tuna is impractical for management programs, the effectiveness of boric acid, sweet liquid baits in eliminating P. longicornis colonies should be compared with that of the toxic version of Xstinguish. If both are effective at eliminating colonies, we recommend sweet liquid baits containing boric acid be used for small-scale incursions (one or two nests), but a more practicable solid bait, such as Xstinguish, be used for larger scale incursions (numerous nests).
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Vol. 100 • No. 2