Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Greenhouse and Nursery - Pavement Ants

Pavement ants are an occasional pest in greenhouses and nurseries. The following is more information.

Pavement Ants, Tetramorium caespitum

Pavement ants can damage plants in the greenhouse. They have been found causing damage on vinca, petunia, marigold, and pansy crops in the past but could attack most plants. They feed on the roots and girdle the stems of plants causing them to collapse.

Identification: The pavement ant is dark brown with light colored legs. They have 12-segmented antennae with a 3- segmented club. On females, the thorax has a pair of small spines on the dorsal side. The males do not have these spines. The pedicel (area between thorax and abdomen) is 2-segmented.

Control: DuraGuard ME has a label for use in greenhouses and nurseries and will control ants. Apply this as a soil drench.

Pavement Ant. Photo from the University of Maryland.

Information adapted from the March 28, 2008 edition of the Greenhouse TPM/IPM Weekly Report from the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Central Maryland Research and Education Center

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