The purpose of this study was to involve pest management professionals in the design of application techniques and strategies that would be efficacious and also reduce insecticide runoff. Our study involved measuring both the efficacy of treatments for the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), and the concurrent runoff of fipronil and pyrethroids. Two collaborating companies used low-impact protocols for controlling ants while minimizing runoff. Protocol 1 involved bimonthly treatments, while Protocol 2 was monthly. Both protocols involved an initial treatment with a fipronil spray around the foundation. At the garage door—driveway interface, the fipronil application was done as a pin stream for Protocol 1, and as a crack and crevice application in the expansion joint near the garage for Protocol 2. Protocol 1 replaced most pyrethroid sprays with bifenthrin granules placed around bushes and away from the driveway. For the next treatment on day 63, Protocol 1 also included cyfluthrin spray treatments around the house foundation and crack and crevice applications around the edge of the driveway. For the first treatment in Protocol 2, the fipronil spray was supplemented with spot treatments of cyfluthrin. For subsequent Protocol 2 treatments, botanical insecticides were applied. For weeks 1 and 2 posttreatment combined, Protocol 1 had significantly higher reductions in ant numbers compared with Protocol 2. Thereafter there were no significant differences between the protocols. Runoff of bifenthrin from the granules used with Protocol 1 was much lower than in previous trials involving bifenthrin sprays. Day 1 fipronil runoff for Protocol 2 was significantly lower than that for Protocol 1. This difference may be because of the crack and crevice application applied in Protocol 2. Cyfluthrin runoff was minimal for Protocol 2, which involved spot treatments to supplement the fipronil on day 1, or the botanical insecticides for subsequent treatments. Protocol 1 had a large peak of cyfluthrin runoff at day 63 corresponding to their house and driveway treatments.
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1 December 2014
Practical Pest Management Strategies to Reduce Pesticide Runoff for Argentine Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Control
Michael K. Rust,