Making Sense of Biologicals: Biological Delivering Targeted Ant Bait Sustainably

Taylor Hillman Industry, Making Sense of Biologicals

Making Sense of Biologicals,  ant bait

Ants can be a compounding issue for growers. Although the pest doesn’t always directly impact the crop or quality, they do hinder protective measures. UC Riverside Biological Control Specialist Dr. Mark Hoddle said ants quickly became a big problem in their citrus research when releasing the parasitic wasp tamarixia radiata. Hoddle said the ants turn into fierce defenders, protecting sweet excretions that many agricultural pests produce.

Ant control is fairly limited for growers. Chlorpyrifos is slowly going away as a tool and doesn’t kill the colony queen. Current ant baits are expensive and labor-intensive.

In this episode, Hoddle talks about his team’s development of an ant bait delivered in a biodegradable hydrogel capsule made out of seaweed. Tests have been so successful that the team was issued a grant from the Department of Pesticide Regulations for finding alternatives to chlorpyrifos. Hoddle describes what else they are adding to the experiment and the future of this technique that involves automation for ant control.

Listen to the episode with Dr. Mark Hoddle.

‘Making Sense of Biologicals’ is a series from AgNet West that dives into various topics with unbiased experts in the field of biologics to help the industry better understand the product category.

This episode of Making Sense of Biologicals is made possible by PureCrop1, an all-organic formula for ‘When you just want one tool that does it all.’ PureCrop1 is an insecticide, fungicide, biostimulant, and super-surfactant; containing only seven plant-based ingredients. PureCrop1 is naturally safe for the planet, humans, animals, and even beneficial insects. For more information, visit