Presentation Title

Where do the Ants go Marching? How Food Preferences of Tapinoma Sessile may Help Manage Ant Home Invasion

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Peter Nonacs

Start Date

23-11-2019 8:00 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 8:45 AM

Location

77

Session

poster 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Tapinoma Sessile is an ant species that can be found along the west coast, parts of the mid-south, and areas along the east coast of the United States. As a common house-infesting pest, there is an urgent need for more effective means of control of this species. Traditional methods of trying to manage this pest involve spraying insecticides in and around infested areas. However, such methods have been largely unsuccessful and may actually exacerbate the problem by causing colonies to split into separate units and spread to more distant locations. A better understanding of their foraging patterns and food preferences may aid in developing novel and more effective methods of control for this species. In this study, I investigate potential food type preferences amongst T. Sessile. I baited multiple colonies of wild T. Sessile with varying food-types (i.e. proteins, carbohydrates, and sugars), and observed recruitment behavior and food preferences. Number of ants was recorded at the various food sources every 15 minutes for 1.5 hours. The number of ants were highest when baited with 2:4 sucrose water. These results demonstrate that T. Sessile prefer sugary food sources specifically highly concentrated sugar water over other food types. Understanding of what type of food Tapinoma Sessile heavily recruits to and do not recruit to may help with the management of this pest species by finding a better source of control than insecticides. It may be possible to use highly concentrated sugar sources as a way to attract and entrap larger number of numbers of T. Sessile in comparison to the use of spray insecticides that tend to split colonies into larger more distant units while potentially exposing humans and other animals to dangerous chemicals.

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Nov 23rd, 8:00 AM Nov 23rd, 8:45 AM

Where do the Ants go Marching? How Food Preferences of Tapinoma Sessile may Help Manage Ant Home Invasion

77

Tapinoma Sessile is an ant species that can be found along the west coast, parts of the mid-south, and areas along the east coast of the United States. As a common house-infesting pest, there is an urgent need for more effective means of control of this species. Traditional methods of trying to manage this pest involve spraying insecticides in and around infested areas. However, such methods have been largely unsuccessful and may actually exacerbate the problem by causing colonies to split into separate units and spread to more distant locations. A better understanding of their foraging patterns and food preferences may aid in developing novel and more effective methods of control for this species. In this study, I investigate potential food type preferences amongst T. Sessile. I baited multiple colonies of wild T. Sessile with varying food-types (i.e. proteins, carbohydrates, and sugars), and observed recruitment behavior and food preferences. Number of ants was recorded at the various food sources every 15 minutes for 1.5 hours. The number of ants were highest when baited with 2:4 sucrose water. These results demonstrate that T. Sessile prefer sugary food sources specifically highly concentrated sugar water over other food types. Understanding of what type of food Tapinoma Sessile heavily recruits to and do not recruit to may help with the management of this pest species by finding a better source of control than insecticides. It may be possible to use highly concentrated sugar sources as a way to attract and entrap larger number of numbers of T. Sessile in comparison to the use of spray insecticides that tend to split colonies into larger more distant units while potentially exposing humans and other animals to dangerous chemicals.