Document Type : Original Article


1 Federal University Wukari, Taraba State, Nigeria

2 University of Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria

3 Federal College of Education (Technical), Potiskum, Yobe State, Nigeria



Harvester ants (Messor galla Forel) defied various control strategies. Two field experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of Spent Engine-Oil and other nature-based materials on their emergence in Maiduguri, Borno State of Nigeria. The treatments evaluated are spot application of spent engine-oil and some natural materials in experiment 1 and individual and equal mixture of Pure Neem Seed Kernel oil and Spent Engine-oil in experiment 2. Spot application of permethrin served as control. Experiment 1 results shows no significant difference (p > 0.05) between permethrin and spent engine-oil (which was the most effective treatment). While neem seed oil was significantly (p < 0.01) more effective than the untreated control, the result on the 28th day after application showed no significant difference (p > 0.05) in the population index of ants that emerged from nests treated with aqueous neem seed extract, salt/potash solution and extract of Eugenia aromatic fruit from those of the control. Experiment 2 result showed no significant difference (p < 0.05) between Permethrin, Spent Engine-oil, Neem Seed Kernel Oil and, equal mixture by volume of Pure Neem Seed Kernel Oil and Spent Engine-Oil in controlling the emergence of the ants. These were however, significantly different (p > 0.05) from the untreated control. While the result shows no significant difference between the treatments, it was observed that equal mixture of Spent Engine-oil and Neem Seed Kernel Oil was most effective, followed by Spent Engine-Oil, Permethrin and Neem Seed Kernel Oil, in that order.


Abdul-Shafy, HI, Mansour, MSM. (2016). A review of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: Source, environmental impact, effect on human health and remediation. Egypt. J. of Petrol., 25(1): 107-123.
Abioye, OP, Agamuthu, P, Abdul Aziz, AR. (2012). Biodegradation of used motor oil in soil using organic waste amendments. Biotech. Res. Intl., Article ID 587041, 8 pages,
Adenipekun, CO, Oyetungi, OJ, Kassim, LS. (2008). Effects of spent engine oil on the growth parameters and chlorophyll content of Corchorus olitonus. Environmentalist, 28(1):446 - 450.
Briggs, CM, Redak, RA. (2016) Seed Selection by the Harvester Ant Pogonomyrmexrugosus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Coastal Sage Scrub: Interactions with Invasive Plant Species. EnvironEntomol., 45(4): 983 - 90.
Chandrasiri, KAS, Fernando, LCP. (2004) Effectiveness of Used Engine Oil in the Management of Coconut Mite, Aceriaguerreronis (Acari: Eriophyidae). Cocos. 16: 43-55.
Degri, MM, Sharah, HA, Maina, YT, Musa, HS. (2013). The effect of harvester ants (Messor spp) nests on farmers’ productivity in semi-arid zone of Maiduguri, Nigeria. J. Environ. Issue. Agric. Develop. Countries, 5(1):34–39.
Heathwole, H. (1996). Ant assemblages at their dry limits, the northern Alacama Deserts, Pere and the Chott EL-Djerid. Tunis. J. Arid. Environ., 33:449-456.
Helmy, EI, Kwaiz, FA, El-Sahn, OMN. (2012). The usage of mineral oils to control insects. Egypt. Acad. J. Biolog. Sci., 5(3):167-174.
Marsh, AC. (1987). The foraging ecology of two Namib desert harvester ant species. South Afric J. of Zool., 22(2): 130-36.
Nicola, JRP, Robert, AJ, Bert, H. (2013). Foraging behavior in the ant genus Messor (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Myrmecological News. 18: 33-49.
Tschinkel, WR, Kwapich, CL. (2016). The Florida harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex badius, relies on germination to consume large seeds. PlosOne, 11(11): e0166907. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166907.