Date of this Version
The Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), has proven to be a threat to native arthropod species in Haleakala National Park, Maui, HI, and is also a potential threat to the park's native flora. As it continues to expand its range, an effort has been undertaken to eradicate it, or at the least, control its spread. The 1st part of this effort focused on finding a bait carrier for subsequent toxicant-based control tests. A year-long bait preference test was implemented at each of the ant's 2 infestation sites in Haleakala National Park, in which 6 solid baits and 2 liquid baits were assessed for attractiveness and feasibility for large scale control. At both sites, a toxicant-free formulation of Maxforce, a protein-based granular bait made from ground silkworm, Bombyx mori (L.), pupae, and a 25% sugar water solution were the most attractive baits. Ants took more Maxforce (without toxicant) and sugar water than all other baits, including honey granules and a fish protein bait. Sugar water, however, is difficult to distribute over large natural areas. Maxforce was therefore concluded to be the best bait carrier for toxicant-based control at Haleakala National Park because of its attractiveness and its ease for large scale broadcast dispersal.