Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Argentine ant management in cherimoyas

Published source details

Phillips P.A., Bekey R.S. & Goodall G.E. (1987) Argentine ant management in cherimoyas. California Agriculture, 41, 8-9

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Exclude ants that protect pests Natural Pest Control

A randomised, replicated, controlled study in 1984 in California, USA (Phillips et al. 1987) tested three ant exclusion techniques and found lower Argentine ant Linepithema humile infestation when sticky band barriers (ant activity rating of 0.52) and chlorpyrifos insecticide (rating of 1.0) were applied than when baited traps (rating of 1.39) or no ant exclusion (rating of 1.43) were applied to cherimoyas Annona cherimola trees. Mealybug (namely Pseudococcus longispinus) infestation was closely related to Argentine ant activity but was similar (when tested statistically) between the ant exclusion treatments (infestation ratings of 0.1, 0.3, 0.5 and 0.7 for sticky band, chlorphyrifos, baited trap and no exclusion treatments, respectively). Sticky band barriers comprised of Tangle-trap aerosol sprayed in a band (of 3 inch-width) around tree trunks. In the insecticide treatment, chlorpyrifos was applied to the base of the trunk and surrounding 12 inches of soil. The baited trap contained a sugar/carboxymethylcellulose bait and Amdro pesticide. Treatments were replicated four times with three cherimoyas trees/replicate. Ant activity was rated 0 (< 1 ant/minute passing a point on the trunk) through to 5 (51-100 ants/minute). Mealybug infestation was rated 0 (no mealybugs) to 3 (over half of fruit surface area infested).