Seaweed Ant Bait: A Biodegradable Alternative

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Credit: Choe Laboratory, UC Riverside

Could this be a safer insecticide?

Some of us eat it, some of us can’t stand it, but seaweed could be a key ingredient in safer farming techniques.

After finding out that ants were killing off a wasp species researches needed to kill the Asian citrus psyllid, they developed Hydrogel.

It’s an inexpensive seaweed-based ant bait that’s biodegradable, and is proving effective in controlling Argentinean ants.

University of California researchers have found that these jello-like liquid spheres can reduce ant populations drastically.

“A 70 percent reduction is really successful, especially considering we are not spraying an insecticide but instead using a very targeted method that is better for the environment.”

– Dong-Hwan Choe, assistant professor of entomology

Hydrogels are similar to other liquid ant baits, but they are absorbent and can retain water over long periods of time.

They’re made of sugar water laced with .0001 percent thiamethoxam, which is about 100 times less than what is in standard gel traps, and 1,000 times less than typical spray insecticides.

It probably won’t be available on the market for awhile. In need of insect repellents now?  Visit this page for organic ways you can keep pests away from your home and garden.

Seaweeds are rich in minerals and fast growing – some can grow up to 3 feet a day. Hopefully this means an easy, sustainable supply.

It’s also becoming a popular non-chemical fertilizer for farming and gardening.

You can read more about seaweed fertilizer at, and

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