Damage to Young Citrus Trees by the Red Imported Fire Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

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Surveys of 2,384 ha of young citrus groves in Florida in 1982 showed that red imported fire ants, Solenopsis inuicta Buren, were abundant (x = 366.8 nests per hal. The ants built their mounds around or near the base of young citrus trees 1-4 yr old and fed on the bark and cambium to obtain sap, often girdling and killing the tree. In the spring, they also chewed off new growth at the tips of branches and fed on flowers or developing fruit. In central Florida, survival of citrus trees increased when the number of ants was reduced and maintained at low levels with insecticidal bait. Tree mortality was 5.5-6.6 times higher in the untreated than in the treated sections of grove. Replacement costs for dead trees were 214.65-843.11 higher in untreated than in treated 1.0-ha test plots.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1991

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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