The foraging range and distribution of Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), colonies in urban areas of southern California extended at least 61 m (200 feet) from feeding stations and structures. Ants were fed at 25% sucrose feeding stations containing 0.01% fluorescent brighter (FB28). Within 14 d, from 77–90% of the ants sampled next to the feeding stations were positive for FB28. The percentage of ants with FB28 declined gradually to ≈55% 61 m away from the feeding station. The percentage of marked ants in the controls didn’t change over the 4-wk-test period. There were ≈290,000 ants visiting the monitored stations each night before treatments. The 0.0001% fipronil baits and 0.06% fipronil SC sprays provided significant reductions in at least 4 wk. The percentage of ants marked with FB28 decreased significantly in both bait and spray treatments over 4 wk suggesting that the resurgence of ants in treated areas were because of immigration from untreated areas. It is likely that much larger areas will need to be treated to control Argentine ants in urban settings, especially if baits are being used.
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Vol. 96 • No. 3