Fire Ant Detection
Fire ant introductions are a constant problem at ports and quarantine boundaries. Ants detected on cargo must be rapidly identified to minimize shipping delays. In response to this need, a rapid, field-portable kit capable of identifying fire ants by untrained personnel was developed by USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) scientists. The test provides an answer within 10 minutes without any prior training or knowledge. Agdia, Inc. has acquired a Biological Materials License for the test from the USDA and will begin commercial production of an ImmunoStrip® test kit under the name, INVICTDETECT.
The ARS Imported and Fire Ant and Household Insects Research Unit developed integrated management processes for imported fire ants and other invasive ants. Emphasis is on development of novel, safer methods and better strategies for controlling these invasive pests, with less reliance on pesticides. Research supports many economic sectors, including the general public, agricultural producers, pest control industry, medical practitioners, communication and electrical industries, and state and federal agencies.