Study Finds Sweeteners Lead Fire Ants to a Bitter End

red imported fire ant headshot

By Josh Lancette Researchers from China have discovered that some sweeteners can be lethal to the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), a devastating pest found South America, the United States, Australia, Asia, and on many Caribbean islands. In a test, ants that were fed erythritol, aspartame, and saccharin had a mortality rate higher than […]

Water-Resistant Bait Could Deliver Much-Needed Improvement in Pest Ant Control

Red imported fire ants

The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) and the little fire ant (Wasmannia auropunctata) are just two species of invasive ants that have thrived since their introduction to the U.S. The former has spread through much of the southeastern United States, while the latter has become widespread on the Big Island of Hawaii. In both […]

You’ve Got Ants: New 10-Minute Test Kit Detects Red Imported Fire Ants

red imported fire ant

The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) is an invasive species from South America that is damaging to agriculture and wildlife and known for its painful, venomous sting. That venom, however, is now a promising tool for entomological researchers in fighting back against S. invicta and limiting its spread. Throughout the southeastern United States, shipments […]

Compounds from Poison Frogs May be Used to Control Fire Ants

USDA scientists and their collaborators have found that naturally-occurring compounds that are found on the skin of certain poison frogs can incapacitate and kill fire ants. The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) damages crops, devastates small animal populations, and inflicts painful stings to livestock and to humans. To determine whether poison-frog alkaloids would kill […]

CT Scanning Shows how Fire Ants Interlock to Form Floating Rafts

When water levels rise, red fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) stream from their nests and rapidly grip onto their nearest neighbors in order to form rafts to carry them to safety. Each individual ant is denser than water and is in danger of sinking. However, the ants somehow manage to stay afloat, and they don’t just […]