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Control of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta in traffic signal control cabinets (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)


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The red imported fire ant, $olenopsis invicta Buren, causes numerous problems, including the invasion of traffic signal control cabinets. Ants remove insulation from wires and bridge terminal blocks, causing shorted circuits. They enter mechanical switches and cause malfunction by interfering with the action of the switch­ es. These are especially serious problems as the components in cabinets control traffic signal lights at intersections. We tested several insecticides and practices to reduce the im­ pact of fire ants in signal control cabinets. We have found that the insecticide chlorpyrifos is effective in reducing ant populations in cabinets. Additionally the sealing of electrical components to eliminate the entry of ants is important. These two practices can eliminate the problem in most cases.
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... RIFA nests are commonly found around electronic equipment sets such as air conditioners, traffic signal enclosures, and power supply equipment. Thus, the insulation of wires and cables is often damaged by RIFA, resulting in equipment failures and even large-scale power outages (Mackay et al. 1991). Omnivorous RIFA can damage 57 kinds of crops and 149 kinds of flowers (Huang et al. 2011;Vogt et al. 2003). ...
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Solenopsis invicta Buren, also known as the red imported fire ant (RIFA), has had a very negative effect on biological diversity, public safety, agriculture, and economics. Because of the growth in global trade, the RIFA threat to China will continue to increase. To better understand characteristics of newly observed distributions of RIFA, we studied the effects of three factors including provincial areas, landcover types, and climatic conditions on the 130 new occurrence records in 2021. (1) We found that RIFA preferred to invade Sichuan and Guangxi, and provinces that are large agricultural producers were more vulnerable to invasive RIFA. Guangdong was the most damaged province, and wealthy provinces, especially southeastern coastal provinces, were more at risk and suffered a bigger loss from the further RIFA threat. (2) Compared with other habitats, plantations received more significant damage from invasive RIFA. (3) Areas with an annual precipitation of 516.4 mm, annual average temperature of 18.6°C, or elevation of 569.9 m had a great abundance of invasive RIFA. Our study suggests that stringent inspection and quarantine measures are necessary in new occurrence areas to prevent further RIFA outbreak, and highlights the need for cross‐provincial cooperation and national coordination to slow its spread.
... Telephone failures in Texas were attribute to the ants' removal of wire insulation and their tendency to nest inside equipment, resulting in excessive internal current flow and short circuits [13]. Over time, problems in highway department signal cabinets and failures in air-conditioning units, telephone services, and traffic equipment were reported with increasing frequency [14][15][16]. RIFAs were later demonstrated to be attracted to electric fields [17]. ...
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The red imported fire ant (RIFA, Solenopsis invicta) is an exotic aggressive pest that is notorious for its ability to seriously harm humans and animals, cause economic loss to agriculture, and damage ecosystems. This is the first study to validate the capability of filter paper adsorption as a feasible odor bearer of RIFAs and evaluate its use in detection dog training. Two live RIFA-experienced detection dogs achieved a mean 92% positive indication rate (PIR) on RIFA-scented papers with a relatively low false response rate (0.8%). The similar accuracies in recognizing live RIFAs (96%) and scented papers (92%) suggest that a filter paper is an effective odor reservoir. After training with live RIFA and scented filter papers, both RIFA-experienced and inexperienced detection dogs successfully indicated filter papers that were scented with at least 10 RIFAs for 4 h with a high PIR (>93%) and low false response rate (2%). Detection dogs correctly recognized the filter papers scented by 10 RIFAs for 24 h with a 97.6% PIR. Even for scented samples stored at −20 °C and 4 °C for 13 weeks, the positive indication rates (PIRs) were as high as 90%. These results suggest that filter paper is an effective RIFA odor bearer, and the scent can be maintained at least 13 weeks for dog identification. After RIFA-scented paper training, detection dogs showed high (>95%) PIRs for both RIFA-scented paper and live RIFAs and also successfully performed field studies. Using filter paper as a RIFA odor bearer is an effective and economical method for detection dog training and RIFA identification.
... Solenopsis invicta workers have been shown to respond to magnetic fields when they place brood in their nest (Slowik, et al. 1997), and to sense electric fields (MacKay, et al. 1991) so it is possible that a better experimental design will demonstrate magnetic navigation in this species as well. ...
As one of the 100 worst invasive alien species in the world, the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta Buren) is of great concern because of its impact on human health, human health, economic development, and native biodiversity. With the ongoing global climate change situation, there is an increased public health threat from the invasion of S. invicta. To understand the distribution of suitable habitats for S. invicta under current and future climate scenarios in mainland China, nine species distribution models were constructed and compared to which one is more suitable to predict the distribution of S. invicta. The performance of Random Forest (RF) model was the best among all the evaluated models. The results showed that current suitable habitats for S. invicta were predicted to exist in the south of Mainland China. The urban population residing on the southeast coast was primarily exposed to suitable habitats of S. invicta, with an exposed urban area of approximately 130000 km². Annual mean temperature and precipitation of the warmest quarter were considered as important predictors among climate variables. Under future climatic scenarios, the suitable habitats originally held by S. invicta will remain stable, and suitable habitats area for expansion will increase over time. The expansion direction of suitable habitats tends to expand towards the north. Our study can provide a reference for understanding the change of S. invicta suitable habitats and exposed urban population distribution.
The impact of the imported fire ant (IFA) is complex, in large part, because several very different species of "Fire Ants" have invaded and one of these has two forms, all of which are hard to separate by the public, as well as, some investigators not focused on the ant. Each of these different "IFA" species and forms differ in their impact. Further, these ants impact a number of "things" ranging from the environment and wildlife (plants and animals) as well as people, their environment and infrastructure. In addition, they can not only lead to death of living things (including people), but they can destroy many aspects of our environment and infrastructure at the cost of millions of dollars. But there are some beneficial aspects and some people can make many thousands of dollars due to their presence. This is an attempt to look at these issues.
Thesis (M.S.)--Texas Tech University, 2001. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 36-37).
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