Friday, October 3, 2014

Baiting for fire ants in the fall

Broadcast baiting for imported fire ants in the fall can help reduce the number of fire ant mounds see in the fall and spring.

Tips for baiting:

  • Make sure the bait is fresh
    • fire ants pick bait up as food, if bait is rancid they will not pick it up
    • fresh bait should have a nutty or corn-like scent (unless it's spinosad bait which smells differently than other baits)
    • rancid bait smells sour
  • Apply bait when fire ants are foraging
  • Red imported fire ant mound.
    • on hot days, fire ants forage in the evening when it's cooler
    • if you are unsure if fire ants are foraging, place out a hotdog slice or potato chip next to a mound and check back for activity after about 15 minutes
  • Broadcasting baits can save time by not having to locate each mound in your yard
    • Broadcasting can also help to get smaller mounds that you may not notice
    • Baits applied at lower rates (1-2 pounds per acre) should be applied using a hand held spreader set on the LOWEST setting
    • Baits applied at rates higher than 1-2 pounds per acre may be applied using a push/ drop spreader calibrated according to label instructions
  • Do NOT water in baits
    • If baits get wet, they become unattactive to fire ants
      • apply baits when rain is not expected for at least 24 hours
      • turn off sprinkler systems
      • apply baits after dew has burned off the grass
  • Organize a community wide fire ant management program
    • Having neighbors bait for fire ants at the same time can help push re-invasion boundaries further out
      • studies show community wide management can reduce the number of fire ants within the community, reduce the amount of money spent on fire ant management and reduce the amount of chemical placed into the environment
  • Make sure to read & follow all label instructions, including utilizing the correct application equipment


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