Understanding the True Fire Ant Threat
How does something so little cause so much damage? From major growers to major league baseball fields, fire ant damage causes major problems. Fire ants are often associated with southern states in the USA due to an importation from South America to Mobile, Alabama over 100 years ago. But fire ants have travelled before, and they can move north again! Growers, landowners, and field workers everywhere need to be aware of the problems fire ants can cause and the economic damage they can burn:
- Fire Ant Damage to Equipment
Much of the economic damage done via fire ant infestations comes from interference with the equipment we need to get our jobs done, like mowers and weed-eaters. Fire ants build tall, hard mounds that cause blade snags in field-machinery. They can also do costly and dangerous harm to electrical infrastructure – chewing through wires, causing short circuits, or nesting in metal casing.
- Fire Ants Adversely Affect Growing
Some crops are especially susceptible to fire ant damage, such as almonds and citrus, but fire ants can adversely affect growth across a wide spectrum, feeding on available buds and fruit, impacting yield. Fire ants are also problematic for nurseries, turf, and sod, disrupting the water and root systems that keep grass lush, green, and healthy.
- Fire Ants Put Employees at Risk
Beyond the economic impact of fire ants is the threat they pose to human life. Painful fire ant stings are powerful enough to potentially kill human beings, and fire ants are poised to attack quickly following any disturbance to their colonies.
- Fire Ants Pose Danger to Precious Wildlife
Wildlife is at risk too! The pollinators, earthworms, and livestock that play a crucial role in our healthy agricultural system fall victim to fire ant infestations, which can be particularly dangerous for young and newborn animals.
Extinguish the Threat!
Here’s what you need to know about fire ant prevention and control:
- Extinguish® Professional Fire Ant Bait contains (S)-methoprene, an insect growth regulator (IGR) that interferes with a queen ant’s reproductive abilities. Worker ants die naturally and are not succeeded by a new generation. The queen eventually starves to death and the entire colony is eliminated, making it an effective option for fire ant treatment. Extinguish® Professional Fire Ant Bait is USDA Quarantine approved and can be used on all crops and anywhere that cattle and horses graze.
- Extinguish® Plus Fire Ant Bait eliminates the threat of adult fire ants quickly, while combining the long-lasting control of an IGR. With its two-way action, Extinguish® Plus fire ant bait destroys visible and hidden colonies. USDA Quarantine approved. Approved where cattle and horses graze as well as residential turf, landscape, commercial nurseries and more.