Attractiveness of Solenopsis Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) to Assorted Sugars and Oils


  • Stephen Roy Whitney Texas A&M University


Fire ants (Solenopsis spp.) are bothersome insects to both humans and the environment alike. Due to their prevalence in areas near human habitation, we sought to determine a substance that the ants find attractive that could be used in future control methods. To answer our question, we designed a simple experiment in which Solenopsis sp. specimens were each given the opportunity to choose from a variety of sugars and oils that were presented on a piece of paper in front of them. It was determined that fire ants have a stronger attraction to substances higher in fatty acids, such as cooking oils, than carbohydrates. These results have shown that when devising a home remedy for controlling these insects, individuals would have the most success if they were to use an oil-based product in their control method.


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