Efficacy of three citrus oil formulations against Solenopsis invicta buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), the red imported fire ant Academic Article uri icon


  • Experiments were conducted in Alabama, Oklahoma, and Texas to assess efficacy of raw citrus peel extract (orange oil) and a commercial citrus oil formulation for control of Solenopsis invicta Buren, the red imported fire ant. A recipe containing orange oil (equal parts orange oil, cattlemen's molasses, and compost tea at 47 mL L-1 water), orange oil premixed with water to form an emulsion, and the commercial product all resulted in 80% or greater control when applied in 3.8 L of water as a mound drench. In most trials, the level of activity in mounds receiving citrus oil alternatives was statistically comparable with conventional diazinon formulations. Citrus oil alone presented mixing problems prior to application; some possible solutions are discussed. Citrus oil formulations and commercial products appear to be viable alternatives for people who do not wish to apply conventional insecticides against S. invicta.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology

author list (cited authors)

  • Vogt, J. T., Shelton, T. G., Merchant, M. E., Russell, S. A., Tanley, M. J., & Appel, A. G

complete list of authors

  • Vogt, JT||Shelton, TG||Merchant, ME||Russell, SA||Tanley, MJ||Appel, AG

publication date

  • July 2002