KTRH GardenLine Newsletter
Fire Ant Frenzy 2009
November. 5, 2009 - Issue #139
Here's Randy's Weekly KTRH GardenLine Tip:
Is it just me, or do the fire ants seem worse this October & November than any other early fall period that has come before? With that in mind I thought it was worth going through a bit of an update on Fire Ant Controls. Also to that end, I've invited Dr. Paul Nester, the Harris County AgriLife Extension Specialist on Fire Ants to be on the radio show with me this Saturday.
The Latest Broadcast on Fire Ant Control Products
So, if I don't cover a product or topic for you in this week's tip sheet that you would like to learn more about, then by all means feel free to call in this Saturday to pick Paul's mind on anything new in the Fire Ant Control World.
I suspect the increased rain fall is why we have seen such a significant jump in fire ant mounds. But I've got to tell you, that in my yard I just haven't seen the fire ants that my neighbors have, and I think that's because I've been using a fairly new product to the market that is Indoxacarb-based. The product I've used so successfully over the past year with the Indoxacarb if found in a bag of Spectracide Once & Done for Fire Ants. There are others out there like Advion, but they are not as easily found. Be very aware that there are several Once & Done labels via Spectracide, but the Indoxacarb-based product distinctly says "for Fire Ants." Plus, this can help make you a better label reader if you'll take the time to read the active ingredient labels of any insecticide you are using.
But, I've also had great control success in the past with any of the Bifenthrin-based (or Talstar-based) products for longer term control. Without bogging down this email in to too much detail, I thought it was worth posting the most recent list of broadcast controls on the market and ones that Dr. Nester has actually tested in the Houston area for years.
If this tip sheet or this weekend's appearance of Dr. Nester on GardenLine does not cover your question concerning Fire Ants, please call Dr. Nester at the Harris County office of the AgriLife Extension program and ask for the "fire ant guy!" at 281-855-5600. And as always you can go on line and read everything that's ever been written about the Texas Two Step for Fire Ant Control from Texas A&M University.
Dr. Paul R Nester, Extension Program Specialist - IPM - Houston Metro Area
For more information see our web site, Updated 9/15/2009
Fire Ant Baits
(broadcast applications unless specified as single mound only)
Agricultural Lands (grazed, hayed, cropped, orchards, gardens, etc.). Read label thoroughly for specific uses.
Amdro Pro (0.73% hydramethylnon) - May be applied to grass forage (pasture and rangeland) for the control of fire ants in some southern states. Do not cut and bale hay from pastures and rangeland until 7 days after the bait application is made. Full effect of the product on the ants takes about 3-6 weeks.
Clinch (0.011% abamectin) - Speed of control similar to Amdro Pro, but label is more restrictive than Amdro Pro. Controls fire ants in citrus, almonds, walnuts, potatoes, around barns and equipment, and around chicken houses. Do not use in pastures or rangeland grazed by cattle, sheep, or other domestic animals (including horses), or around chicken houses where birds are allowed outdoor range.
Esteem (0.5% pyriproxyfen) - Esteem can be used in hay pastures or with livestock used for food or feed production. Esteem may also be used in select vegetables and tree fruits, but refer to the label for specifics. Relatively slow, 1-3 months applied in spring, 3-6 months in fall.
Extinguish (0.5% methoprene) - Labeled for use almost anywhere. The active ingredient (methoprene) is very slow to work; usually 1-3 months if applied in the spring and, 3-6 months if applied in the fall. Full effect of the product varies with reinvasion pressure; one application per year is usually sufficient.
Extinguish + Amdro Pro Hopper Blend - mix 0.75 lb of each individually available product (50:50 hopper blend) applied at 1.5 lbs/acre total. Gives speed of control of Amdro Pro and the duration of control of Extinguish at no extra cost. Similar restrictions for grass forage as Amdro Pro. For a discussion on hopper blends please see the Texas AgriLife Extension Service Publication B-6099, Broadcast Baits for Fire Ant Control
Extinguish Plus (0.25% s-methoprene + 0.36% hydramethylnon) - the same ingredients as used in the hopper blend of Amdro Pro + Extinguish but sold as a single product. Extinguish Plus may be applied to grass forage (pastures and rangeland) for the control of fire ants in some southern states. Do not cut and bale hay from pastures and rangeland until 7 days after the bait application is made.
Urban areas or Non-Food Producing Lands. Read label thoroughly for specific uses.
Advion (0.045% indoxacarb) - Professional version. 90% or better control in 3-7 days with foraging suppression in 12-48 hours. Urban use only. Available only at specialty products stores.
Amdro (0.73% hydramethylnon) - labeled for use in urban as well as non-crop areas. Not to be confused with Amdro Pro. May be used in corrals and other animal holding areas, NOT for use in hay pastures or where livestock used for food or feed production is grazed. Refer to label for specifics. Full effect of the product on the ants takes 3-6 weeks.
Amdro Fire Strike (0.036% hydramethylnon + 0.0172% s-methoprene) - the same ingredients as Extinguish Plus, but lower concentration, in a single package formulated for homeowner that can be applied through a regular fertilizer spreader at 5 lb per 5,000 – 10,000 sq ft. May be used in corrals and other animal holding areas, NOT for use in hay pastures or where livestock used for food or feed production is grazed. Refer to label for specifics.
Amdro Fire Strike Mound Treatment (0.36% hydramethylnon + 0.25% s-methoprene) - the same ingredients as Extinguish Plus in a single package for homeowner for application to individual mounds at 2-5 level tablespoons/mound. Not to exceed 2 lb/acre. May be used in corrals and other animal holding areas, NOT for use in hay pastures or where livestock used for food or feed production is grazed. Refer to label for specifics.
Amdro Yard Treatment (0.036% hydramethylnon) - version of Amdro that can be applied through a regular fertilizer spreader at 21 lbs/acre. Low concentrated high volume bait. May be used in corrals and other animal holding areas, NOT for use in hay pastures or where livestock used for food or feed production is grazed. Refer to label for specifics. Full effect of the product on the ants takes 4 weeks. Not for single mound treatments.
Ascend/Varsity (0.011% abamectin) - Speed of control similar to Amdro, but label is more restrictive than Amdro. Hard to find. Available only at specialty products stores.
Award (1% fenoxycarb) - Originally called "Logic" but all uses are now on the Award label. The active ingredient (fenoxycarb) is very slow to work. NOT for use in hay pastures or where livestock used for food or feed production is grazed but may be used in horse pastures.
Distance (0.5% pyriproxyfen) - Distance may be used on turf in residential/domestic sites, institutional sites, uncultivated non-agricultural areas, or on indoor and outdoor container or field grown ornamentals in commercial nurseries. Refer to the label for specifics. Relatively slow, 1-3 months applied in spring, 3-6 months in fall.
Fire ant baits con't:
Garden Tech "Over ‘n Out" Single Mound Treatment (0.008% indoxacarb) - Retail version of the indoxacarb fire ant bait but only to be used as a single mound treatment. Do not confuse with Over ‘n Out Granules.
MaxForce FC (0.00015% fipronil) – Labeled for use in most urban areas. Speed of control similar to Amdro, but label is more restrictive than Amdro. Available only at specialty products stores.
Probait (0.73% hydramethylnon) - labeled for use in urban as well as non-crop areas. May be used in corrals and other animal holding areas, NOT for use in hay pastures or where livestock used for food or feed production is grazed. Refer to label for specifics. Works in 3-6 weeks. Available only at specialty products stores.
Spectracide® Fire Ant Killer Plus Preventer Bait Once & Done!™ (0.016% indoxacarb), – Retail version of indoxacarb fire ant bait but lower concentration. High volume application low concentrated product. Same active ingredient as Advion. Two to three applications per year usually needed with Spectracide product.
Spinosad granular bait products (also called Conserve , 0.015% spinosad) - Available under Green Light, FertiLome, Safer, Ortho, or Southern Ag product line. Green Light product is certified organic by OMRI meaning it is approved for use in organic gardens, less than one acre in size. May require additional applications in 4-6 weeks.
Contact Insecticides – short list * Always read label thoroughly before using
D-limonene containing products (various) - D-limonene is an extract of citrus peels that has contact activity on certain insect pests, including fire ants. Can be found in several mound drench products (e.g., Safer® Brand Fire Ant Killer, Orange Guard Fire Ant Control). Organic formulations will be OMRI certified.
Over ‘n Out Granules or TopChoice Granules (0.0103% or 0.0143% fipronil) - This is not a bait but acts about as fast as Amdro fire ant bait, but VERY long true residual activity. May see good control for over a year, particularly on clay soils. Expensive when compared to the use of fire ant baits (~$22/5,000 square feet for fipronil product vs $10-12/43,560 square feet or 1 acre for fire ant bait). Use in high traffic areas or where long term control is needed. No agricultural uses. The Top Choice product is not available through usual retail outlets.
Pyrethrins + Diatomaceous Earth products (various) - Pyrethrins (0.2% African Daisy extract), Diatomaceous Earth (82.9% silicon dioxide), Piperonyl Butoxide (1.0% synthetic sassafras oil). Usually a powder that can be applied dry or wet. This type of product is available from Diatect (Results Fire Ant Killer) or Organic Solutions (Multipurpose Insecticide).
Pyrethroids (Ortho Max, Bayer Lawn and Garden, DeltaGard, Talstar, etc.) and other broadcast treatments - Use as directed to suppress foragers, but may not kill colony. Multiple applications may be necessary. Uses a lot of insecticide. Also, populations of other beneficial insects may be affected as opposed to the long residual fipronil granule products which are applied at sub-lethal rates and effects on other insects are minimal.
Sevin XLR Plus (47% carbaryl) - For pasture fire ant mound drench, 1.5 quarts/100 gal.
Spinosad (0.5% liquid) - considered all natural or "organic." Has a fire ant mound drench statement on label. Available from Green Light or FertiLome. Green Light product is certified organic by OMRI meaning it is approved for use in organic gardens. Spinosad is a biopesticide produced through commercial culture of a soil-born microbe that produces metabolites toxic to certain insects. These metabolites are harvested and formulated as an insecticide, so the final product contains no living microbes.
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