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Trophallaxis

What is trophallaxis?

(Back to Maxforce Ant Bait Gel information page)

A simple definition of trophallaxis: the mutual exchange of food between adults and larvae of certain social insects such as ants, fireants, bees or wasps.  In the trophallaxis process, foods (including ant baits,) and pheromones are exchanged among colony members.  (The Fireant queen produces a special pheromone without which the workers will begin raising new queens.)
In baiting programs (targeting pest ant populations) the foraging workers carry baited material (that is contaminated with minute amounts of pesticide) back to the colony's nursery.  Since adult ants cannot actually digest solid foods, the bait is fed to the larvae who digest the material and regurgitate the bait contents (now a liquid form) back to adult ants.  In turn, these ants feed other members of the ant colony.  In this manner, ant baits are spread throughout the targeted ant colony.  Without trophallaxis the ant bait would not penetrate the gigantic organism we know as an ant colony.

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