Comparison of Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Attraction to Different Common Household Products


  • Rayburn Lee Texas A&M University
  • Rupsikha Bora
  • Gillian Bradley
  • Maria Hutchins-Donley
  • Raymond Loh
  • Shawnee Owusu
  • Casandra Patterson
  • Eduardo Serrano


The purpose of this experiment was to study the attraction habits of S .invicta to common household products in College Station, Texas. S. invicta is a nuisance to the agricultural industry as they cause damage to equipment and lower crop yields. Various common household products ranging from dental hygiene to food products were used in the study. Products that exhibited the most attractive properties included foods with high sugar content. Among the household products with the lowest attractive properties were acidic substances such as tapatio hot sauce, listerine, and 40% ethanol spirit (vodka). Basic substances such as hand soap also exhibited poor attractive properties.


AntWiki. 2019a. Collecting ants.

Buczkowski, G., and D.S. Richmond. 2012. The Effect of Urbanization on Ant Abundance and Diversity: A Temporal Examination of Factors Affecting Biodiversity. PLoS ONE 10.1371.

Caprio, C., Patricio, A., Hong, E., & Patel, N. 2017. Investigating Native and Invasive Ant Communities in College Station, Texas. Instars: A Journal of Student Research, 3. Retrieved from

Cokendolpher, J. C., & Phillips, S. A. 1989. Rate of Spread of the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), in Texas. The Southwestern Naturalist, 34(3), 443. doi: 10.2307/3672182

Lennon, L. Native Ants. Texas Imported Fire Ant Research and Management Project. Texas A&M AgriLife Research, n.d.

Lofgren, C. S., Banks, W. A., & Glancey, B. M. 1975. Biology and Control of Imported Fire Ants. Annual Review of Entomology, 20(1), 1—30. doi: 10.1146/annurev.en.20.010175.000245

Pimm, S. L., & Bartell, D. P. 1980. Statistical Model for Predicting Range Expansion of the Red Imported Fire Ant,Solenopsis invicta,1in Texas2. Environmental Entomology, 9(5), 653—658. doi: 10.1093/ee/9.5.653

Porter, S. D. and Tschinkel, W. R. 1987. Foraging in Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): effects of weather and season. Environ. Entomol. 16, 802-808. doi:

Resh, V. H., Cardé, R. T., & undefined, undefined undefined. 2009. Chapter 219 - Recruitment Communication. In Encyclopedia of insects (pp. 869—877). Amsterdam: Elsevier ; Academic Press. doi:

Vander Meer, R., & Alonso, L. E. 1998. Pheromone Directed Behavior in Ants. Pheromone Communication in Social Insects, 159—192. doi: 10.1201/9780429301575-7

von Thienen, W., Metzler, D., Choe, D. H., & Witte, V. 2014. Pheromone communication in ants: a detailed analysis of concentration-dependent decisions in three species. Behavioral ecology and sociobiology, 68(10), 1611-1627.