Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract Full Text

Disruptions of Solenopsis invicta pheromone trails.


Solenopsis invicta, commonly known as the red imported fire ant, is an invasive species to the United States whose history began in the early 20th century. Given time and increasing human interaction, the species was able proliferate in much of the Southwest. This artificial migration, coupled with the species' anatomy, defense mechanisms and aggressiveness. has caused increasingly important issues with colonies forming near households and affecting crop yields. The highly potent venom can cause painful skin rashes and can even induce death in certain members of population. However, these ants rarely sting as individuals, but rather as a group- as a mechanism of defense in response to, for example, habitat disruption. To achieve such collaborative action, these insects release pheromones. And one in specific, Z, Z, Z-Allofarnesene, aids in the formation of ant trails. Therefore, given the medical impact of the specie, s one is able to see the importance of developing alternative methods of disrupting this specific pheromone transmission. This study utilizes common household items (lemon juice, vinegar, black pepper, cinnamon, and paprika) to test the efficacy of pheromone disruption. The results yielded the conclusion that products containing highly volatile functional groups in a certain odorous physical state have a significantly higher impact on pheromone trails.