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Effects of Aromatic Cedar Mulch on the Argentine Ant and the Odorous House Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Heike E. Meissner, Jules Silverman
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-94.6.1526 1526-1531 First published online: 1 December 2001


In laboratory studies, the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr), and the odorous house ant, Tapinoma sessile (Say), avoided aromatic cedar mulch as a nesting substrate. Both ant species were killed when confined with fresh aromatic cedar mulch in sealed containers. However, when confined with cedar mulch that had been aged outdoors for up to 140 d, mortality of L. humile was complete regardless of mulch age, whereas T. sessile mortality declined significantly over the mulch-aging period. Argentine ant susceptibility to aromatic cedar mulch was also greater than that of the odorous house ant when colonies were restricted to mulch in open trays. In addition, commercial aromatic cedar oil was lethal to both ant species. Our results suggest that aromatic cedar mulch may serve as an effective component of a comprehensive urban ant management program.

  • Linepithema humile
  • Tapinoma sessile
  • aromatic cedar mulch
  • cultural control
  • landscaping

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