Efficacy and speed of action of fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) baits that claim fast control of colonies were compared with a standard bait. More than 85% of red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, laboratory colonies provided bait containing the active ingredient indoxacarb died within 3 d, and all colonies were dead in 6 d. Standard bait containing hydramethylnon resulted in death of 60% of the colonies in 9 d. Bait containing spinosad did not cause colony death. Under field conditions, one-half of the areas treated with the indoxacarb bait did not have any active fire ant nests within 3 d, whereas 11 d was needed to reach the same level of control with the hydramethylnon bait. Spinosad had a maximum of 17% of the treated areas without nests after 3 d. The delay in death of S. invicta adults treated in the laboratory with the indoxacarb and spinosad baits was shorter than the standard hydramethylnon bait, which had mortality similar to the traditional delayed toxicity criterion of <15% mortality after 24 h and >89% mortality over the test period. Indoxacarb caused mortality of 57% at 24 h and 100% at 48 h; however, visual symptoms of toxicity were not readily observed for at least 8 h before the abrupt increase in death. Spinosad caused 96% mortality by 24 h, and initial mortality became apparent at 4 h. Time required for death of 15% of a treated population (LT15) of spinosad, indoxacarb, and hydramethylnon was 3, 9, and 16 h, respectively. Delayed toxicity characteristics of the fast-acting indoxacarb bait may be useful for the development of other fast-acting ant baits.
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