Distance PLUS ant bait is based on the insect growth regulator Pyriproxyfen, it acts as a juvenile hormone mimic, preventing the queen from laying viable eggs and preventing metamorphosis of larvae into adult ants. Because of its unique mode of action, Distance Plus causes a gradual reduction in worker numbers until the colony collapses for long-lasting ant control.
Distance PLUS does not need to be eaten to be effective and unlike other baits, prevents a new generation of ants replacing the old.
Olives are a crop where ants feature greatly in the population dynamics of a key pest the black scale (Saissetia oleae). Natural control agents include coccinellid lady beetles www.replicabestsale.co.uk, lacewings and parasitic wasps. Ants interfere with their ability to control populations of black scale but tending and protecting the scale in return for the honeydew reward. In trials in western Victoria, Distance® PLUS Ant Bait has been very effective in reducing the populations of scale tending ants, mostly meat ants (Iridomyrmex purpureus) and black ants (Iridomyrmex rufoniger andothers). These ants aggressively tend and protect black scale and reduce the effectiveness of natural predators such as coccinellid and lacewing larvae and parasitoid wasps. The use of Distance® PLUS Ant Bait as part of the program to reduce sap-sucking insects such as black scale in olives fits very nicely with the IPM approach increasingly being adopted by Australian farmers.
Another important but often overlooked consequence of ants in crops is their protection of sap-sucking insects in return for the honeydew reward, otherwise known as mutualism.
A wide variety of ants seek the honeydew produced by aphids, scale, mealybugs and leafhoppers, and in exchange, protect these pests from their natural enemies.
The proliferation of these pests also promotes sooty mould on the crop. There have been a large number of studies worldwide showing the benefits of excluding ants from crops and the resulting reduction in pest populations resulting from increased numbers of beneficial insects and easier access to their sap-sucking prey. For instance, Australian researchers have shown that by physically excluding ants from citrus canopies they can dramatically reduce the number of live soft scale (Coccus hesperidum).
Baiting is an effective option to reduce ant abundance in canopies. Olives is another crop where ants feature greatly in the population dynamics of a key pest, the black scale (Saissetia oleae). Natural control agents include coccinellid lady beetles, lacewings and parasitic wasps. Ants interfere with their ability to control populations of black scale but tending and protecting the scale in return for a honeydew reward.
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