Use Of An Alginate Hydrogel To Deliver Aqueous Bait To Manage An Invasive Ant Pest In Residential Settings
  Key Words  
  Argentine ant, ant control, biodegradable hydrogel, Linepithema humile, liquid bait, thiamethoxam
  Jia-Wei Tay, Mark S Hoddle, Ashok Mulchandani, and Dong-Hwan Choe
  Insecticide sprays used for ant control generally cause environmental contamination. Liquid bait is effective, but requires bait stations to dispense the toxicant. In this study, we develop a natural alginate hydrogel to deliver liquid bait, without the use of bait stations. Hydrogel beads conditioned in a sucrose solution with 0.0001% thiamethoxam provided complete control of all castes of Argentine ant Linepithema humile (Mayr) colonies, by 5 days post-treatment in the laboratory trial, and provided a 79% reduction in ant activity after 8 weeks in the field trial. This work demonstrates the potential of alginate hydrogel as an effective tool to deliver liquid bait in controlling Argentine ants.