Fire Ants are reddish-brown to black in color, 1/8 - 1/4 inch in length, with aggressive behavior, inhabiting dome-shaped mounds (1-3 inch diameter); nests may also be in rotting wood. They are also found in well motor and fuse boxes where they damage wiring. Mounds can be up to 6 feet below the ground. Most of the population are workers which gather food and care for the youth. Fire Ants mainly feed on other insect and seeds. In heavy rains, workers will build rafts out of eggs, pupae, and larvae to protect the queens.
OUCH: Fire Ants are capable of multiple stings (10-20 at a time). A sting releases chemicals that alert other workers to attack as well. This is a defense action to protect the mound.
HER MAJESTY: The queen's sole purpose is to reproduce. She can produce 100-200 eggs a day for up to 6 years after only mating once. New queens can grow wings, relocate, and start new colonies.
CONTROL: The fact is that no one Fire Ant control program is perfect. Even the best pest control programs will only yield about 90% control, according the University of Texas. Control of Fire Ants can be achieved many different ways:
Baits are usually more expensive per pound but require less insecticide to do the job. Baits are highly attractive baits made from vegetable oils and food products in combination with an insecticide. Baits are unique in that they are formulated to trick the worker ants into contaminating the food stores of the mound before dying. Some baits, like Logic or Award, are slow because they work by causing sterility in the ant population. These products are good for areas like ranches, parks and golf courses. For quicker a acting bait, Payback Fire Ant Bait is now available with a new biologically-derived active ingredient called Spinosad developed by Dow.
Insecticide Dusts like Garden Insect Dust and Carbaryl Dust work quickly because the dust particles get struck to the ants as they travel throughout the mound.
Insecticide Granules like Fire Ant Control Granules are popular because they are not as messy to use as dusts and inexpensive. But granules, to be most effective, should be watered-in after application to the mound.
Insecticide Concentrates like Permetrol Lawn Insecticide are also used to drench individual mounds or treat the whole lawn.
Payback Fire Ant Bait:
Amount to use:
How it works:
Fire ant colonies are started by newly mated queens that fly into an area, burrow into the ground and begin laying eggs. Several flights are common during the summer, often shortly after rain. It takes several weeks for new mounds to appear. Combining mound and broadcast applications eliminates visible mounds and helps prevent new mounds from forming.
Payback Fire Ant Bait is very attractive and deadly to fire ants. Payback contains Spinosad which is a new, biologically-derived insecticide from Dow Agrisciences which has won the Presidential Green Chemistry Award. Fire ants quickly find and pick up this bait, take it back to the mound, and feed it to the entire colony including the queens. Ants start dying in 24-36 hours with colony destruction in 3 to 14 days. Broadcast applications may take longer.
Active ingredient: 0.015% Spinosad
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