December 5, 2011 by admin
From Texas Imported Fire Ant Research and Management Project – “The impact of red imported fire ants in the state of Texas is estimated to be $1.2 billion annually. Red imported fire ants are pests of urban, agricultural and wildlife areas and can pose a serious health threat to plants and animals. The goal of the Texas Imported Fire Ant Research and Management Project is to find effective methods to eliminate this invasive species as a major economic and medical pest.”
“The red imported fire ant was imported around the 1930′s and has spread to infest more than 260 million acres of land in nine southeastern states, including all or portions of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma (Lofgren 1986, Sparks 1995). This species has become very abundant, displacing many native ant species when abundant. It has the potential of spreading west and surviving in southern Arizona and along the Pacific coast north to Washington (Vinson & Sorenson 1986).”
It is not possible to eliminate Fire Ants entirely quite simply because it’s not possible to treat all areas that are infested. Our goal with integrated pest management programs is to suppress fire ants as much as possible with biological control methods. We only recommend using pesticides or insecticides where it is economically and environmentally justifiable to do so. We can help you find the cost effective, low toxicity method or methods that are environmentally sound.
We recommend a two-step process. First broadcast baits. There are two main types and the main difference is how quickly fire ants will be affected or controlled and how long the effect will last. From the Texas Imported Fire Ant Research and Management Project we know that “faster acting bait products include indoxacarb (works in 3-10 days), hydramethylnon (works in 7-14 days for mound treatments and in 2-3 weeks when broadcast), and spinosad (works in several weeks). They may need to be re-applied more often than slower acting and longer lasting products such as abamectin, fenoxycarb, methoprene or pyriproxyfen, which work in 1-2 months when applied in spring and 6 months when applied in fall.”
Secondly, use long residual contact insecticide treatments where necessary. “Granular fipronil products are slower acting but longer lasting; only one treatment is permitted per year. Faster-acting contact insecticides, such as pyrethroids eliminate ants on the surface for months but may not eliminate colonies nesting deeper in the soil.” With the long residual contact insectide treatment With this approach, a contact insecticide is applied to the lawn and landscape surface. This is more expensive that other control methods but it may be more effective in smaller areas because ants that move into treated areas will be eliminated as long as the chemical is active. Granular products are best applied with a push-type fertilizer spreader and must be watered in after treatment.” (Texas Imported Fire Ant Research and Management Project)
For individual mound treatments we recommend the “faster acting baits products (hydramethylnon, indoxacarb, spinosad) can be used to treat individual ant mounds and are ideal for treating inaccessible colonies like those nesting under sidewalks, in plant beds and at the bases of tree trunks. Some mound treatment products are available as liquid drenches, injectable aerosols, dusts or granules that are watered into the mound. Ants are killed only if the insecticide contacts them, so proper application is essential. These treatments are most effective when ants are nesting close to the mound surface (as they do when the temperature is mild). Colonies should not be disturbed during treatment. If you use a watering can to apply insecticide, do not use the can later for other purposes.” (Texas Imported Fire Ant Research and Management Project)
Contact Us! Stop by our store for assistance or simply call (903) 892-3238