Lawn Care

By Steve Borel LSU AgCenter 

The two step method.

The two steps involve:

1) broadcasting a bait product.

2) treating nuisance mounds with a faster acting individual mound treatment.

Step 1. Once or twice per year, broad-cast a bait formulated insecticide or use an out-door bait station product as directed on the label. Step 2. Wait several days or more after applying the bait, and then treat nuisance ant colonies us-ing an individual mound treatment method. This method should provide ant suppression for 2 to 6 months depending on environmental conditions.

Individual mound treatment: This approach is best used in small areas. This program selectively controls fire ants, but rapid re-invasion should be anticipated. It generally requires more labor and monitoring than other programs, and is not suggested for heavily infested areas. Treat undesirable fire ant mounds using an individual mound treatment. Products are applied as dusts, granules, and granules drenched with water. Continue treating undesirable mounds that appear, as needed.

The ant elimination method

This program eliminates nearly all ant species in treated areas. Its effects are more rapid than those of other pro-grams, and it minimizes re-invasion of treated areas as long as the con-tact insecticide remains effective. However, it is more expensive, uses more insecticide, and has greater environmental impact. This approach is frequently used by commercial applicators.

Step 1. Broadcast a bait-formulated insecticide in areas where there are many mounds or individually treat fire ant mounds. Wait 2 to 3 days after applying a bait before conducting the next step.

Step 2. Apply a contact insecticide to turfgrass every 4 to 8 weeks, or when ant activity is detected. Liquid or granular products that can be evenly applied to an area are appropriate for this treatment. Whichever method you choose to control fire ants. It will work best if you can get your neighbors, or better yet your entire subdivision to treat at the same time. The more treated area you have the slower the re-infestation will take place. Remember we are not eliminating the ants we are simply controlling the ones that we can.

For a list of baits and insecticides recommended by LSU you can contact the County agents office in Port Allen at 336-2416 or Plaquemine at 687-5155.

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