Michael K Rust

Michael K Rust
University of California, Riverside | UCR · Department of Entomology

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235
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Publications

Publications (235)
Article
Full-text available
New infestations of the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae), were discovered in southern California, namely in Rancho Santa Fe and La Mesa (San Diego County) and Highland Park (Los Angeles County) in 2021. We investigated whether these new infestations were related to the previous infestations...
Article
Full-text available
Despite insecticide resistance issues, pyrethroids and fipronil have continued to be used extensively to control the German cockroach, Blattella germanica (L.) (Blattodea: Ectobiidae) for more than two decades. We evaluated the physiological insecticide resistance in five German cockroach populations collected from 2018 to 2020 and measured the ext...
Article
Full-text available
Gel bait insecticides have been extensively used to manage the German cockroach, Blattella germanica (L.) (Blattodea: Ectobiidae), but issues with reduced effectiveness of such formulations are becoming increasingly common. We collected five field strains of German cockroaches in California and evaluated them against five commercial bait products [...
Article
Full-text available
Argentine ants are one of the most common nuisance pest ants treated by pest management professionals (PMPs) in southern and western urban residential areas of the United States. Two new technologies (spraying with a pheromone adjuvant and using a biodegradable hydrogel bait delivery method) were used to develop a unique low-impact integrated pest...
Book
Full-text available
As a species, the German cockroach is one of the most widespread indoor urban pests worldwide. While numerous products have been developed to control their spread, German cockroaches continue to contaminate food, transmit disease and cause significant, long-term economic expense to homes, restaurants, hospitals and more. Biology and Management of...
Article
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Here, we review the literature on the development and application of hydrogel compounds for insect pest management. Researchers have used hydrogel compounds for the past few decades to achieve the controlled release of various contact insecticides, but in recent years, hydrogel compounds have also been used to absorb and deliver targeted concentrat...
Article
The use of topical and oral therapies on pets has revolutionized the control of cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouché). Herein, we tested the biological activity of two adulticides, fipronil and imidacloprid, and the insect growth regulators (IGRs), methoprene and pyriproxyfen. The LC50’s of fipronil, imidacloprid, methoprene, and pyriprox...
Article
An international team of scientists and veterinarians was assembled in 1999 to develop a monitoring program to determine the susceptibility of cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouché) (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae), to imidacloprid. Cat flea eggs were collected, shipped to laboratories, and tested for their susceptibility to imidacloprid. Over 3,...
Article
Baiting is an effective method to manage Vespula spp. yellowjacket (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) populations without having to locate and treat nests. Here, we assessed the utility of a commercially available polyacrylamide hydrogel as an alternative bait material for yellowjacket baiting. The experimental bait (hereafter referred to as 'hydrogel bait')...
Article
Full-text available
The cat flea Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouché) is the most important ectoparasite of domestic cats and dogs worldwide. It has been two decades since the last comprehensive review concerning the biology and ecology of C. f. felis and its management. Since then there have been major advances in our understanding of the diseases associated with C....
Article
Pest management professionals in California receive more customer complaints about Argentine ants than for any other urban ant pest. Fipronil, applied as a 30 × 30 cm band around the house foundation, has become the preferred treatment used to control these ants. Unfortunately, fipronil is now showing up in urban waterways at levels that are toxic...
Article
Insect growth regulators (IGRs) such as lufenuron, methoprene, and pyriproxyfen have been important tools in the integrated pest management of cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché), for the past two decades. Other IGRs have been registered for the control of termite, dipteran, and lepidopterous pests including chlorfluazuron, cyromazine, dicycl...
Article
The western yellow jacket, Vespula penyslvanica (Saussare), is a serious seasonal pest of outdoor venues in the western United States. In the spring, queens and low numbers of workers were captured in heptyl-butyrate-baited traps until early July, when the number of foragers dramatically increased. Microsatellite data suggest that 18 colonies were...
Article
Full-text available
Fleas are the major ectoparasite of cats, dogs, and rodents worldwide and potential vectors of animal diseases. In the past two decades the majority of new control treatments have been either topically applied or orally administered to the host. Most reports concerning the development of insecticide resistance deal with the cat flea, Ctenocephalide...
Article
Insect growth regulators (IGRs) methoprene and pyriproxyfen are widely used as topical treatments to pets or applied to the indoor environment to control cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché). The toxicity of methoprene, pyriproxyfen, and combinations of both IGRs to cat flea larvae was determined. The LC50 of methoprene and pyriproxyfen applie...
Article
The susceptibility of 12 field-collected isolates and 4 laboratory strains of cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis was determined by topical application of some of the insecticides used as on-animal therapies to control them. In the tested field-collected flea isolates the LD50 values for fipronil and imidacloprid ranged from 0.09 to 0.35 ng/flea and 0...
Article
Trophallaxis between individual worker ants and the toxicant load in dead and live Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) in colonies exposed to fipronil and hydramethylnon experimental baits were examined using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). About 50% of the content of the crop containing trace levels of 14C-sucrose, 14C-hydramethylnon, and 14C...
Article
Full-text available
The development of effective baits to control the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), has been problematic because foragers prefer sweet liquids, while many toxicants are insoluble in water and liquid baits are generally difficult to deliver. The incorporation of thiamethoxam and sucrose solutions into a water-absorbing polyacrylamide hydroge...
Article
The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae) is the most important ectoparasite of domestic cats and dogs worldwide. Infestations can lead to skin inflammation and cause flea allergy dermatitis, and fleas are also capable of transmitting several other parasites and diseases between animals and, indirectly, to humans. Fleas have a h...
Article
Full-text available
Two species of velvety tree ants, Liometopum luctuosum Wheeler, and Liometopum occidentale Emery (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), are commonly found in the western Unites States from Washington to southern California. L. luctuosum is restricted to coniferous forests in the mountains in the southern range, whereas L. occidentale is found in the lowlands....
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to involve pest management professionals in the design of application techniques and strategies that would be efÞcacious and also reduce insecticide runoff. Our study involved measuring both the efÞcacy of treatments for the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), and the concurrent runoff of Þpronil and pyrethroids....
Article
Full-text available
The monitoring of the susceptibility of fleas to insecticides has typically been conducted by exposing adults on treated surfaces. Other methods such as topical applications of insecticides to adults and larval bioassays on treated rearing media have been developed. Unfortunately, baseline responses of susceptible strains of cat flea, Ctenocephalid...
Article
BACKGROUND Urban and residential concrete surfaces are often treated with pesticides to control ants. Run-off from irrigation/rainfall can remove pesticides from concrete and contaminate urban waterways. Recent regulations and mitigations in regions such as California aim to reduce insecticide run-off (e.g. pyrethroids), but are often proposed with...
Chapter
Fipronil is a phenylpyrazole insecticide first registered in U.S. in 1996 and in California, is exclusively used for urban structural pest control and landscape maintenance. Although commonly found in urban waterways, runoff potential of fipronil from urban surfaces was seldom assessed, and with different physicochemical properties, conclusions obt...
Article
The velvety tree ant, Limetopum occidentale Emery, is commonly found in urban areas throughout the western U.S. and has been reported damaging structures. Foragers prefer sucrose, glucose, and honey sucanat solutions. Solid protein baits containing anchovy also were retrieved by workers. In the early summer, foragers were active both day and night....
Article
Full-text available
The Turkestan cockroach, Blatta lateralis (Walker), has become an important invasive species throughout the southwestern United States and has been reported in the southern United States. It is rapidly replacing the oriental cockroach, Blatta orientalis (L.), in urban areas of the southwestern United States as the most important peri-domestic speci...
Conference Paper
Laboratory mortality bioassays and field efficacy tests show that various forms of bait are more effective when enhanced with certain hydrocarbon extracts and blends that are characteristic of those found on preferred insect prey. The behavioral dynamics of Argentine ants in relation to baits are assessed to determine the effects of active recruitm...
Conference Paper
Pheromones produced by queens in eusocial hymenopterans play an integral part in colony-level processes. Queen phermones are involved in worker policing of eggs, worker execution of sexualized larvae, inhibition of worker reproduction, and gyne rearing & adoption. To date, queen phermones have been described only in the honey bee Apis mellifera (Le...
Article
Full-text available
We conducted trials in a citrus grove infested with Argentine ants [Linepithema humile (Mayr); Hymenoptera: Formicidae] using bait stations (9.8 per ha) filled with bait consisting of either 0.001% imidacloprid as one treatment or 0.25% methoprene as a second treatment. The 2 treated areas and a control were widely separated in the grove. Within ea...
Article
Full-text available
In 2001, an international surveillance initiative was established, utilising a validated larval development inhibition assay to track the susceptibility of cat flea isolates to imidacloprid. In 2009, an Australian node was incorporated into the programme, joining laboratories in the United States and Europe. Field isolates of Ctenocephalides felis...
Article
Ants belonging to the genus Liometopum are regionally distributed across North America, Europe and Asia. L. apiculatum Mayr, L. luctuosum Wheeler, and L. occidentale Emery are found in western North America and are referred to as velvety tree ants. Very little is known about the biology of these species, but they are similar. They are typically ass...
Conference Paper
The Turkestan cockroach, Blatta lateralis, was first recorded in California in 1978 and in Arizona in 1984. Pest management professionals in New Mexico and west Texas also report treating for this species. It has been reportedly displacing the oriental cockroach, Blatta orientalis as the major species around structures. Little is known about the bi...
Article
The brown widow spider, Latrodectus geometricus C. L. Koch 1841, is non-native to North America and has experienced an explosive range expansion in the first decade of the 21st century. Previously restricted to peninsular Florida, it is now well established in the southeastern United States and southern California. In southern California, brown wid...
Article
Full-text available
The brown widow spider, Latrodectus geometricus C. L. Koch, has become newly established in southern California during the first decade of the 21st century. Brown widows and egg sacs were collected within the urban Los Angeles Basin using timed searches. We also collected and compared the abundance and distribution of the native western black widow...
Article
Intensive residential use of insecticides has resulted in their ubiquitous presence as contaminants in urban surface streams. For pest eradication, urban hard surfaces such as concrete are often directly treated with pesticides, and wind/water can also carry pesticides onto hard surfaces from surrounding areas. This study expanded on previous bench...
Article
The spider Holocnemus pluchei (Scopoli) (Araneae: Pholcidae) is a nonnative species commonly found in the southwestern United States. In urban areas around homes and other structures, it is often the dominant spider species on outside surfaces; requests for control of spiders and their cobwebs are common for the commercial pest management industry....
Article
Although on-animal topical treatment with compounds such as imidacloprid has revolutionized the control of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché) (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae), the development of insecticide resistance is a continuing threat. As part of a highly co-ordinated and unprecedented resistance monitoring programme for C. felis, 1437 fle...
Article
This chapter expands on the use patterns of insecticides in and around structures to control the major urban insect pests. Environmental and health concerns have become an important consideration in urban pest management, especially as it relates to water quality issues. The detection of pesticides, particularly pyrethroids, in urban waterways has...
Conference Paper
There has been an increasing concern about the amount of pyretrhroid insecticides sampled from urban waterways in California. It has been suggested that perimeter ant treatments are responsible for the increased levels of pesticide. An alliance of university researchers, extensions specialists, Pest Management Professionals (PMPs), and California D...
Article
Full-text available
Social insects have a tremendous economic and social impact on urban communities. The rapid urbanization of the world has dramatically increased the incidence of urban pests. Human commerce has resulted in the spread of urban invasive species worldwide such that various species are now common to many major urban centers. We aim to highlight those s...
Article
The periodicity of molting and resumption of feeding after molting was investigated in the brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch and Mulaik (Sicariidae). Spiders molted almost every hour of the day but there was a tendency to molt more frequently between 8 a.m. and 1 a.m. Spiderlings resumed feeding after 20 hrs post-molt with feeding oc...
Article
The periodicity of molting and resumption of feeding after molting was investigated in the brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch and Mulaik (Sicariidae). Spiders molted almost every hour of the day but there was a tendency to molt more frequently between 8 A. M. and 1 A. M. Spiderlings resumed feeding after 20 hrs post-molt with feeding...
Article
A novel bait station referred to as a virtual bait station was developed and tested against field populations of the invasive Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), at White Beach, Camp Pendleton, in Oceanside, CA. White Beach is a nesting habitat for an endangered seabird, the California least tern (Sterna antillarum b...
Article
Insecticides are commonly used for ant control around residential homes, but post-treatment runoff may contribute to contamination of surface water in urban watersheds. This study represents the first instance where runoff of insecticides was directly measured after applications around single family residences. During 2007, houses were treated with...
Article
In a previous experimental study, recluse spiders Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch and Mulaik and Loxosceles laeta (Nicolet) (Araneae: Sicariidae) preferred small cardboard refugia covered with conspecific silk compared with never-occupied refugia. Herein, we investigated some factors that might be responsible for this preference using similar cardboard...
Article
Full-text available
Perimeter treatments with Termidor ® were evaluated for efficacy in reducing outdoor infestations of Argentine ants around homes in southern California. Treatments were applied according to the amended Termidor ® label restrictions, accepted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation in 2009, limiting applications to the structure and not...
Article
This chapter discusses cat fleas, which are small (2 mm), dark, reddish brown, wingless, bloodsucking insects. The cat flea is a cosmopolitan, eclectic species, having been recorded from more than three dozen species, including opossums, raccoons, kangaroos, and even birds. This wide host range explains this flea' s ability to repopulate domestic a...
Chapter
This chapter discusses how urban habitats are conducive to insect pest problems such as mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, fleas, termites, and wooddestroying pests. In addition, crowding and waste also lead to vertebrate pest problems such as rats, mice, and pigeons. For example the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus, has spread by...
Conference Paper
Outdoor applications of insecticide barriers to control ants around urban structures are commonplace. Insecticides such as fipronil, bifenthrin, cyfluthrin and cypermethrin are regularly sampled from urban waterways. The presence of these insecticides has been attributed to perimeter sprays applied to control ants. Urban residences were treated wit...
Article
Full-text available
Un sistema de distribución de líquidos conteniendo boratos fue evaluado por el control de la hormiga argentina, Linepithema humile (Mayr), en una huerta de árboles cítricos. Dos concentraciones de disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (1% y 0.5%) fueron probadas en estaciones de comida puestas cerca de los troncos de los árboles. Comparado con los contr...
Article
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Formica perpilosa Wheeler is a serious economic ant pest on table grapes grown in the Coachella Valley, California, and Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. This ant aggressively tends hemipteran pests, such as the vine mealybug, Planococcus ficus Signoret, and disrupts natural control by predators and parasitoids. Efforts are underway to develop control me...
Article
Experiments tested the ability of newly emerged spiderlings of a black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus Chamberlin & Ivie (Araneae: Theridiidae), to crawl through brass screen of various mesh size. The purpose was to determine whether immatures of these medically important spiders could be excluded from buildings. In horizontal orientation, black...
Article
Full-text available
One of the most conspicuous and stereotyped activities of social insects such as ants and honey bees is necrophoresis, the removal of dead colony members from the nest. Previous researchers suggested that decomposition products such as fatty acids trigger necrophoric behavior by ant workers. However, fatty acids elicit both foraging and necrophoric...
Article
Full-text available
Insecticide treatments were evaluated for efficacy in reducing outdoor infestations of Argentine ants around homes in southern California. Treatments were applied with the goal of reducing the amount of insecticides applied to control ants. Most effective was an experimental liquid bait formulated with 0.003% thiamethoxam as the toxicant. It reduce...
Conference Paper
One of the most conspicuous nest cleaning activities of ants is the stereotypic removal of dead nestmates from their nest. Most studies so far suggest that chemical cues of the ant corpse release necrophoric behavior. Decomposition products such as oleic acid and other unsaturated fatty acids are known to initiate corpse-removal behavior in several...
Conference Paper
The activity of chlorantraniliprole (Rynaxypyr) was determined against the western subterranean termite, Reticulitermes hesperus (Hagen). The water solubility, Kow and Koc of chlorantraniliprole are similar to fipronil. Chlorantraniliprole produces dose dependent mortality and brief exposures (1 hr) produced >90% mortality even at doses as low as 1...
Conference Paper
Firebrats (Thermobia domestica) are a cosmopolitan household pest found all over the U.S. Firebrats have been known to damage paper and textile goods in addition to infesting pantries. This study focused on the shortcomings of current management strategies, possible solutions, and the development of new baits for the control of this pest in urban e...
Article
Full-text available
Using natural venom collected from the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, we determined the dose of venom necessary to kill 50% of the workers (LD50) of Argentine ants, Linepithema humile (Mayr), and several other ant species that the fire ant may encounter in California. Of the species tested, the Argentine ant was most susceptible t...
Article
Full-text available
Liquid ant baits are an alternative to broad-spectrum insecticide sprays conventionally used to control Argentine ants. We review the development of liquid ant baits, which capitalize on the ants' sugar-feeding requirements and social structure to deliver small doses of toxicant throughout the colony. The ant bait program described here, developed...
Article
Full-text available
Five insecticides used by urban pest management professionals for ant control and three experimental insecticides were tested to determine whether these insecticides were horizontally transferred among individuals in colonies of Argentine ants, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Ants were exposed to insecticide-treated sand for 1...
Article
The insecticidial and biological activity of the cyano-substituted neonicotinoid acetamiprid was determined against the western subterranean termite, Reticulitermes hesperus Banks (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). Acetamiprid was very active against termites in topical applications, with an LD50 = 0.02 ng per termite. Even though acetamiprid was extreme...
Article
Full-text available
Liquid baits were evaluated for control of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), and associated mealybug and soft scale pests in California vineyards. In 2003, liquid baits with small doses ofimidacloprid, boric acid, or thiamethoxam dissolved in 25% sucrose water resulted in lower ant and mealybug densities and fr...
Article
Western subterranean termite, Reticulitermes hesperus Banks (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), workers fed more on paper disks treated with the carbohydrates xylose, ribose, and fructose than on untreated disks. This feeding behavior of termites for certain carbohydrates was used to demonstrate an increase in the uptake and transfer of the insect growth...
Article
Full-text available
A variety of refugia were offered to different instars of brown recluse spiders, Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch and Mulaik, and a South American recluse spider, L. laeta (Nicolet), to determine whether they preferred certain types of refugia spaces. Variables included (1) crevice widths ranging from 3.2 to 21 mm, (2) horizontal and vertical orientation...
Article
Seasonal and annual intensity of foraging pestiferous yellowjackets in California (USA) was determined with wet capture traps using heptyl butyrate (HB) lure. Although 3 species were sympatric at every test site, the most abundant at > 85 to 90% of total was V. pensylvanica (Saussure). There was a nearly 40-fold annual variation in the total number...
Article
Full-text available
*[Most effective was a combination of a perimeter spray with fipronil + broadcast application of bifenthrin granules, gave 93% reduction of ants after 8 wks). A sweet water bait with 0.001% imidacloprid provided about 80% reduction of ants for one month. All of the treatments significantly reduced ant activity, & at the end of the study 95% of the...
Article
Full-text available
Four different termite control strategies consisting of two soil treatments with cypermethrin and fipronil and two bait treatments with hexaflumuron and sulfluramid were evaluated for their efficacy and potential for controlling the invasive eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), in Quillota and...
Article
The potential horizontal transfer ofnonrepellent termiticides has become an important paradigm to control termites in recent years. In this study, 14C-radiolabeled fipronil was used in a series of laboratory experiments to demonstrate the extent and ability of termites to transfer lethal amounts of fipronil to unexposed nestmates. Fipronil is an ac...
Article
Full-text available
The Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), and the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, are natural agonists in their country of origin. Since the first report of L. humile in California in 1907 its range expanded statewide, displacing native ant species wherever it spread. Since the discovery of established populations of S. invicta...
Article
Trail pheromones mediate communication among western subterranean termites, Reticulitermes hesperus Banks. Repetitive passages of >or=28 termites were required to establish a pheromone trail and trails needed to be reinforced because they lasted <48 hr. The minimal threshold concentration for inducing responses from termite workers and secondary re...
Article
The Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), and the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, are natural agonists in their country of origin. Since the first report of L. humile in California in 1907 its range expanded statewide, displacing native ant species wherever it spread. Since the discovery of established populations of S. invicta...
Article
Full-text available
*[All of the treatments significantly reduced ant activity over the course of the 8-wk study. The greatest reductions were achieved at homes that were treated with fipronil. Especially noteworthy was the fipronil spot treatment which reduced ant activity around homes by 90% at 8 wks. Homes treated with liquid borate bait attained a 73% reduction in...
Article
Full-text available
The horizontal transfer of imidacloprid among late instars of the western subterranean termite, Reticulitermes hesperus Banks, was quantified. Termites exposed to 14C-radiolabeled imidacloprid sand horizontally transferred imidacloprid to naïve termites after various exposure regimens. Transfer efficiencies ranged from 7.5 to 16.5 %, with no obviou...
Article
Because generalist ants are aggressive towards foreign insects, the recognition of homopterans by tending ants is critical in ant/homopteran trophobiosis. Herein we report experimental evidence indicating that Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) learn to associate the production of honeydew with the chemical character...