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Imported Fire Ants on Lawns and Turf
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00001348/00001
 Material Information
Title: Imported Fire Ants on Lawns and Turf
Series Title: Florida Lawn Handbook
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Oi, David H.
Koehler, Philip G. (Philip Gene) 1947-
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 1994
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Fire ants -- Control -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Biology -- Control Strategies and Techniques -- Options for Managing Fire Ant Populations in Lawns and Turf
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Diana Hagan.
Publication Status: Published
General Note: This document is Fact Sheet ENY-226 (which supersedes ENT-53) ... This information is included in the Florida Lawn Handbook, SP-45."
General Note: "First published: February 1991. Revised: February 1994. Publication date: July 1994."
General Note: "This article was adapted from the University of Florida, Florida Cooperative Extension Service bulletin "Imported Fire Ants and Their Management in Florida"." -- Acknowledgements, p.10
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00001348:00001

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FactSheetENY-226 July1994ImportedFireAntsonLawnsandTurf1 DavidH.OiandPhilipG.Koehler2Importedfireantsareaggressive,reddishbrown toblackantsthatare1/8to1/4inlong.They constructnestswhichareoftenvisibleasdomeshapedmoundsofsoil,sometimesaslargeas3feet acrossand11/2feetinheight(Plate111).Insandy soils,moundsareflatterandlessvisible.Fireants usuallybuildmoundsinsunny,openareassuchas lawns,pastures,cultivatedfields,andmeadows,but theyarenotrestrictedtotheseareas.Moundsor nestsmaybelocatedinrottinglogs,aroundtreesand stumps,underpavementandbuildings,and occasionallyindoors.Whentheirnestsaredisturbed, numerousfireantswillquicklyrunoutofthemound andattackanyintruder.Theseantsarenotoriousfor theirpainful,burningstingthatresultsinapustule andintenseitching,whichmaypersistfor10days. Infectionsmayoccurifpustulesarebroken.Some peoplehaveallergicreactionstofireantstingsthat rangefromrashesandswellingtoparalysis,or anaphylacticshock.Inrareinstances,severeallergic reactionscausedeath. Inadditiontostinginghumans,importedfireants canstingpets,livestock,andwildlife.Croplossesare alsoreportedduetofireantsfeedingonseedlings andevencitrustrees.Harvestingmachineryusedon farmscanbedamagedbyhittinghardfireant moundsoftenfoundinclaysoils.Electrical equipmentandutilityhousingsmayserveasfireant nestsites,sometimesresultinginshortcircuits. Theterm importedfireants generallyrefersto twospeciesofants:theblackimportedfireant, Solenopsisrichteri Forel,andtheredimportedfire ant, Solenopsisinvicta Buren.Theblackimportedfire antwasaccidentlyintroducedfromSouthAmerica intoMobile,Alabama,around1918,andnowinfests asmallareainAlabamaandnorthernMississippi. TheredimportedfireantenteredtheUnitedStates probablyinthe1930s.Itwasmostlikelyintroduced withcargoorinthesoilusedasballastinshipsfrom SouthAmericathatwereunloadedintheMobile area.Inthe1940sandearly1950stheredimported fireantspreadtoFloridaandothersouthernstatesin nurserystockandsod.Fireantscurrentlyinfestover 260millionacresinAlabama,Arkansas,Florida, Georgia,Louisiana,Mississippi,NorthCarolina, Oklahoma,SouthCarolina,Tennessee,Texas,and PuertoRico(Figure1).Theyhavethepotentialto establishinotherareaswhereaverageminimum temperaturesareabove10Fandrainfallisgreater than10inchesayear,orinirrigatedareas.Localized infestationshavealsobeenreportedinArizonaand Virginia. 1.ThisdocumentisFactSheetENY-226(whichsupersedesENT-53),aseriesoftheEntomologyandNematologyDepartment,Florida CooperativeExtensionService,InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences,UniversityofFlorida.ThisinformationisincludedintheFlorida LawnHandbook ,SP-45.Foracopyofthishandbook,requestinformationonitspurchaseatyourcountyextensionoffice.Firstpublished: February1991.Revised:February1994.Publicationdate:July1994. 2.DavidH.Oi,USDA-ARS,MedicalandVeterinaryResearchLaboratory;PhilipG.Koehler,professor,EntomologyandNematology Department,CooperativeExtensionService,InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences,UniversityofFlorida,GainesvilleFL32611. Theuseoftradenamesinthispublicationissolelyforthepurposeofprovidingspecificinformation.Itisnotaguaranteeorwarrantyofthe productsnamed,anddoesnotsignifythattheyareapprovedtotheexclusionofothersofsuitablecomposition. Theterm"plates,"whereusedinthisdocument,referstocolorphotographsthatcanbedisplayedonscreenfromCD-ROM.Thesephotographs arenotincludedintheprinteddocument. TheInstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciencesisanequalopportunity/affirmativeactionemployerauthorizedtoprovideresearch,educational informationandotherservicesonlytoindividualsandinstitutionsthatfunctionwithoutregardtorace,color,sex,age,handicap,ornational origin.Forinformationonobtainingotherextensionpublications,contactyourcountyCooperativeExtensionServiceoffice. FloridaCooperativeExtensionService/InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences/UniversityofFlorida/ChristineTaylorStephens,Dean

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ImportedFireAntsonLawnsandTurf Page2Tolimitthespreadofimportedfireants,a Figure1. Thedistributionofwell-establishedimportedfireantinfestationsintheUnitedStatesincludes11statesandPuerto Rico.federalquarantinerestrictsthemovementofsoil, pottedplants,plantswithsoilattached,grasssod,hay, andusedsoil-movingequipmenttouninfestedareas oftheUnitedStates.Theseitemsmustbecertified thattheyarefreefrominfestation.Whilethereare norestrictionsonthemovementofregulatedarticles withinFloridaandotherquarantineareas,any shipmentsoutsidethequarantineareasrequire inspectionandcertificationfromtheFlorida DepartmentofAgricultureandConsumerServices, DivisionofPlantIndustry(FDACS-DPI). Informationonspecificlawsandregulationsmaybe obtainedfromanylocalofficeoftheFDACS-DPIor theU.S.DepartmentofAgricultureAnimalandPlant HealthInspectionService/PlantProtectionand Quarantine,(USDA-APHIS/PPQ).BIOLOGYRedimportedfireantsliveincoloniesthat containcream-coloredtowhiteimmatureants,often calledbrood.Thebroodiscomprisedoftheeggs, larvae,andpupae.Alsowithinthecoloniesareadult antsofdifferenttypes,orcastes.Thecastesinclude wingedmales,wingedfemales(whichareunmated queens),workersofvaryingsize,andoneormore matedqueens.Thewingedmalesandfemalesfly fromnests,usuallyinthespringandearlysummer,to mateinflight.Uponlanding,matedfemaleswill shedtheirwingsafterfindingasuitablenestingsite. Allthemalesdieaftermating.Whilethousandsof wingedmalesandfemalescanbeproducedperyear inlargecolonies,theydonotsting,andfewerthan 10%ofthefemaleswillsurvivetoproduceacolony. Newly-matedqueenscanflyasfaras12milesfrom thenest(orevenfartherinthewind),butmostland withinamile. Newcoloniesdonotmakeconspicuousmounds forseveralmonths.Onceacolonyisestablished,a singlequeencanlayover2,000eggsperday. Dependingontemperature,itcantake20to45days foraneggtodevelopintoanadultworker.Workers canliveaslongas9monthsat75F,butlifespans usuallyarebetween1and6monthsunderwarmer outdoorconditions.Queensliveanaverageof6to7 years. Fireantsareomnivorousfeeders,feedingon carbohydrates(e.g.honeydew,plantexudates,sugars, syrups),proteins(e.g.insects,meats),andlipids(e.g. grease,lard,oilsfromseeds).Theirfoodpreferences changedependingonthenutritionalrequirementsof thecolony.Inthespringandsummer,whenfoodis abundant,thecolonyproducesnewoffspring,andthe proteinneedsofthecolonyincrease.Adultants requirecarbohydratesand/orlipidstosustain themselvesthroughouttheyear.Fireantsareonly abletoingestliquids.Solidproteinaceousfoodsare

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ImportedFireAntsonLawnsandTurf Page3liquifiedbyplacingthemonadepressioninfrontof themouthoftheoldestlarvae(thefourthinstar stage),whichthenregurgitatedigestiveenzymesonto thefood.Onceliquified,thefourthinstarlarvaesuck uptheproteinandregurgitateittotheworkers, whichpassitontotherestofthecolony. Workerswillforageforfoodmorethan100feet fromthenest.Theycanforageduringboththeday andthenight,generallywhenairtemperaturesare between70and90F.Whenalargefoodsourceis found,fireantsrecruitotherworkerstohelptakethe foodbacktothecolony.Liquidsareingestedatthe foodsource,andstoredwithintheantsuntiltheyare regurgitatedtootherantswithinthecolony.Liquids fromsolidfoodsareextractedatthesource,orare carriedbackassolidparticles.Largesolidsmaybe cutintosmallerpiecessotheycanbecarriedbackto thecolony. Therearetwotypesoffireantcolonies: single-queen,ormonogyne,colonies,and multiple-queen,orpolygyne,colonies. Single-queencolonieshaveonlyoneegg-layingqueen, andmaycontainasmanyas100,000to240,000 workers.Multiple-queencolonieshavemany egg-layingqueens(usually20to60),with100,000to 500,000workers.Single-queencoloniesfightwith otherfireantcolonies.Becauseofthisantagonistic behavior,coloniesarefartherapart,resultingina maximumof40to150moundsperacre.Multiplequeencoloniesgenerallydonotfightwithother multiple-queencolonies.Consequently,moundsare closertogether,andcanreachdensitiesof200to800 moundsperacre.Multiple-queenmoundsmayalso beinconspicuous,oftentimesbeingclustersofsmall, flattenedexcavations,incontrasttothedistinctdomeshapedmoundsofsingle-queencolonies.Workers fromsingle-queencoloniesvaryinsize,rangingin lengthfrom1/8to1/4in,andareusuallyreddish browntoblackincolor.Workersofmultiple-queen coloniesaregenerallysmaller(1/8to3/16in),have onlyafewlargeworkers,andarelighterincolor (orangish-brown)thansingle-queencolonyworkers. Thelargecolonysizes,andthepresenceof numerousqueensmakesmultiple-queencolonies moredifficulttoeliminatethansingle-queencolonies. Since1973,multiple-queencolonieshavebeenfound ineightofthe11fireantinfestedstates,including Florida.Multiple-queencoloniesproducefewer winged,oralate,queensthatwillstartnewcolonies afteramatingflightthansingle-queencolonies. However,multiple-queencoloniescanestablishnew coloniesbybudding,whereaportionofthequeens andworkerssplitsofffromacolony. Thespreadoffireantsintonewareasdependson manyfactors,suchasclimate,surroundingfireant populations,andthenativepredatorsandcompetitors intheareas.Areaswithanabundanceofnatural enemiesandcompetingantspeciesmayhindercolony establishmentbecausetheenemiespreyuponnewlymatedqueensandcompeteforresources.However, ifanareaisdisturbed,forexample,byclearingland forpasturesorurbandevelopment,naturalenemies orcompetitorsmaybeadverselyaffectedandfireants maycolonizetheareamorerapidly. Itmaytakeaslongas11yearsforsingle-queen fireantcoloniestobecomethedominantantspecies inanewareawhichhasbeendisturbedby urbanization,andhasnotbeentreatedwith insecticidestocontrolants.Multiple-queencolonies maybecomedominantinnewareasataslowerrate becausetheyspreadmorebybuddingthanby establishingnumerousnewcoloniesscattered throughoutanareaaftermatingflights. Inareaswherenativeantsandfireant populationshavebeenreducedoreliminatedwith insecticides,reinfestationbyfireantsmaybe noticeablewithinamonthaftertreatment.Fireants reinfesttheseareasmorerapidlyandoutcompete otherantspeciesbecauseoftheirtremendous reproductivecapacityandfastercolonydevelopment. Iffireantcontrolisnotmaintained,thesubsequent reinfestationofanareamayresultinevengreaterfire antpopulationsthanexistedbeforetheapplicationof insecticides.CONTROLSTRATEGIESANDTECHNIQUESImportedfireantshavebeenthetargetof innumerablemethodsofcontrol.Unfortunately, therearenocontrolmethodsthatwillpermanently eliminatefireantsfromanarea.Fourstrategiesare currentlybeingusedtocontrolfireants: broadcastbaitapplications, individualmoundtreatments, acombinationofbroadcastbaitingandindividual moundtreatments,and, barrierandspottreatments.

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ImportedFireAntsonLawnsandTurf Page4Thefollowingdiscussionprovidesgeneral descriptionsofthesestrategiesandguidelinesfor employingthem.Suggestionsforusingthese strategiesinlawnsandornamentalturffollowthis section.BroadcastBaitApplicationsThisstrategyattemptstoreducefireant populationsbyapplyinginsecticidesincorporatedinto anattractant,orbait,onanarea-widebasis.Most baitproducts(eg.Amdro,PTAscend, AwardorLogic)containslow-actingtoxicants dissolvedinsoybeanoil,whichisafoodsourcefor fireants.Thetoxicant-ladenoilisthenabsorbedinto corngrits,whichmakestheproducteasiertohandle andapply,andmoreavailabletotheants.Thesmall sizeofthecorngritallowstheantstoeithercarrythe gritbacktothecolonyandextractthetoxicoilwithin themound,orextractthetoxicoilfromthegrit immediatelyandcarryitbacktothecolonyinternally. Theslowactionofthetoxicantsallowstheantsto feedthetoxicoiltoothermembersofthecolony beforetheydie.Whenthetoxicantisfedtothe queen(s),sheeitherdiesornolongerproducesnew workersandthecolonywilleventuallydie. Therearefourdifferenttoxicants,oractive ingredients,thatareusedincommerciallyavailable broadcastbaitproductsspecificallyregisteredforuse againstfireants.Hydramethylnon,whichisusedin Amdro,isaslow-actingpoisonthatkillsall membersofacolonythatingestit.After1to5 weeks,80to90%ofthefireantcoloniesinthe treatedareawillbekilled.However,theseareasare subjecttoreinfestation. Twooftheotheractiveingredientsinterferewith reproduction,andareoftenreferredtoasinsect growthregulators,orIGRs.Theactiveingredientin AscendisabamectinB1which,atbroadcast applicationrates,preventsqueensfromlayingeggs. FenoxycarbistheactiveingredientinLogicand Award,anditpreventsqueensfromlayingworker eggs.Becauseworkersarenolongerbeingproduced, coloniestreatedwithIGRswilleventuallybe eliminatedbecausethequeen(s)willnotbecaredfor andwilldieasworkersdieoffnaturally.Abamectin andfenoxycarbproductsmaytake5to10weeksto eliminate90%ofthecolonies,andlargetreatedareas (>1acre)mayhavecontrolforaslongasayear. Controlinsmallerareasisnotaslonglastingbecause theseareasaremoreeasilyreinfestedfromadjacent areas. Anotherbaitproduct,Bushwhacker,contains boricacidastheactiveingredient.Boricacidwillkill individualfireantsbutitsactualmodeofactionisnot completelyknown.Publisheddataonthe effectivenessofthisbaitproductunderoutdoor conditionsarenotavailable. Abroadcastbaitapplicationeliminatestheneed tolocatemounds,becauseitreliesonforagingfire antstofindandfeedthebaitstotherestofthe colony.Thus,largeareascanbetreatedmore efficiently.Toensurebaitswillbefedupon,follow theseguidelinesforeffectivebaitapplications. Usefreshbait. Mostavailablefireantbaitsuse soybeanoilasafeedingattractant.Baitsthatare old(over2yearsoldinanair-tightcontainer), leftinunsealedbags,orstoredathigh temperaturesmaybecomerancidandwillnotbe feduponbyforagingworkers. Keepbaitsdry. Wetbaitsarenotattractivetofire ants.Applybaitswhenthegrassandgroundare dryordrying,andrainisnotexpected,preferably forthenext24hours. Applybaitswhenfireantsareactivelyforaging. Foragingactivitycanbedeterminedbyspreading baitinasmallpileintheareatobetreated.If fireantsareactivelyforaging,youshouldseeants removingthebaitwithin10to30minutes.This alsowillindicatethatthebaitisattractive,and nottooold.Fireantsgenerallywillforagewhen airtemperaturesarebetween70and90F. Duringhot,summerweather,applybaitsinthe lateafternoonoreveningbecausefireantswill forageatnightundertheseconditions. Followthedirectionsonthelabel. Itisagainstthe lawtoapplybaitsinareasnotlistedonthelabel. Baitbroadcastingequipment(Figure2)suitable forsmallareassuchaslawnsandplaygroundsinclude hand-heldseedspreaders(Scott'sHandyGreen, RepublicEZHandspreader,orOrthoWhirlybird) andchestspreaders(PlantMatesCanvas,Spyker Polymodel75,EarthwayCanvasEV-N-SPRED 2700A,CyclonePolymodel1A1).Thespreader shouldbesetatthesmallestopening,andthe applicatorshouldwalkrapidlytoapplyapproximately 1ounceofbaitper2,000squarefeet.Electric spreaderssuchastheHerdModelGT-77A, CycloneSpreaderModelM-3,orothersimilar spreadersaresuitableforbroadcastingbaitsover

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ImportedFireAntsonLawnsandTurf Page5largerareas(1to25acres).Thesespreadersmustbe Figure2. Baitbroadcastingequipment(fromlefttoright):hand-heldspreader;chestspreaderandelectricspreader. Figure3. Applicationofbaittoindividualantmound.mountedontovehiclesthatcanmaintainlowspeeds andbecalibratedtoapply1to1.5poundsofbaitper acre.Walk-behindrotaryspreadersgenerallyapply excessiveamountsofbaitandarenotrecommended. However,somemanufacturersmayprovideseparate attachments(Spykermodels44-22,24-22)that resultinapplicationratesof1to1.5poundsperacre.IndividualMoundTreatmentsThisstrategyattemptstoeliminatecoloniesoffire antsbytreatingmoundsindividually.Toeliminatea colony,thequeenmustbekilled.Ifsheisnot destroyed,shewillcontinuetolayeggsandthecolony willrecover.Inthecaseofmultiple-queencolonies, allthequeensmustbekilled,thusmakingeffective treatmentsverydifficult.Individualmound treatmentsaretimeconsumingandlaborintensive becausethemoundsmustbelocatedandtreatedone atatime.However,coloniestreatedindividuallymay beeliminatedfasterthancoloniestreatedwith broadcastbaitapplications. Therearechemicalandnonchemicalmethodsof treatingmoundsindividually.Chemicalmethods includeinsecticidesthatareformulatedasbaits, drenches,granules,dusts,andaerosols.Non-chemical methodsincludeapplyinghotwater,andphysically excavatingthenest.Allindividualmoundtreatments maycausetheantstorelocateandcreateanew mound.Evenifthequeeniskilled,survivingants maystillinhabitthetreatedmoundormakeanew mounduntiltheydieoffnaturally,whichmaytake overamonth.Thusitmaybenecessarytoretreat remainingmoundsthatstillcontainants.BaitsBaitproductsusedforbroadcastbaitapplications canbeappliedtoindividualmounds.Sprinklethe recommendedamountofbaitaroundthebaseofthe mounduptothreefeetaway(Figure3).Inaddition, followtheGuidelinesforEffectiveBaitApplications givenpreviously.Aswithbroadcastbaitapplications, theuseofbaitsforindividualmoundtreatmentsmay takeonetoseveralweekstoeliminatecolonies.

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ImportedFireAntsonLawnsandTurf Page6Drenches Figure4. Applicationofantmounddrench. Figure5. Applicationofgranularinsecticide:Top,scatter granulesovermound;Bottom,waterinwithsprinklercan.Theseproductsaresolutionsconsistingof insecticidesandwaterthatareappliedtomounds. Tobeeffective,thedrenchneedstocontacta majorityoftheants.Thisisbestaccomplishedby applyingthedrenchtoanundisturbedmoundon cool,sunnymornings.Undertheseconditionsthe ants,includingthequeen(s)andbrood,are concentratedjustunderthetopsurfaceofthemound, whereitiswarm.Ifdrenchesareappliedinhot,dry weather,mostoftheantsaredeepwithinthemound, andthedrenchwillnotcontacttheants.Itis recommendedthatentiremoundsbesaturatedby firstwettingthetopofamound,thensoakinga 12-inchswatharoundthebaseofthemound,and finally,pouringtheremainingdrenchontopofthe moundfromaheightofatleast3feettoobtain penetrationintothemound.Useabout1gallonof drenchpermoundformoundswithbasesupto8 inchesindiameterand2gallonsforlargermounds (Figure4).Coloniesmaybeeliminatedwithinafew hourstoseveraldaysaftertreatment.GranulesIngeneral,theseproductscontainaninsecticide thatisreleasedandcarriedintothemoundwith waterthatispouredoverthegranules.Aswiththe drenches,granulesareeffectiveonlyiftheinsecticide penetratesthemoundandcontactsamajorityofthe antsandthequeen(s).Toapply,evenlyscattera measuredamount(followlabeldirections)ofgranules overthesurfaceandaroundamound,without disturbingthemound.Withasprinklercan,sprinkle 1to2gallonsofwateroverthegranules,gently,to avoiddisturbingthecolonyandwashinggranulesoff themound(Figure5).Wateringmaynotbe necessarywithsomeproducts(followlabel directions).Treatingmoundsoncool,sunny morningswillhelpthetreatmentcontactthecolony. Itmaybeseveraldaysbeforetheentirecolonyis killed.

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ImportedFireAntsonLawnsandTurf Page7Dusts Figure6. Sprinkledustevenlyovertheentiremound.Avoid inhalingortouchingthedust.Dustsareinsecticidalproductsthataredry powders.Thedustssticktothebodiesofantsasthey walkthroughtreatedsoil.Antsthatcontactthedust willeventuallydie.Dustsareappliedbyevenly sprinklingameasuredamountofdust(followlabel directions)overthemound.Avoidinhalingor touchingthedust(Figure6).Somedusts,suchas thosecontaining75%acephate,shouldkillanentire colonywithinaweek.AerosolsSomeproductsareavailableinaerosolcans equippedwithaprobe,andcontaininsecticidesthat quicklyimmobilizeandkillantsoncontact.Asthe probeisinsertedintoamound,theinsecticideshould beinjectedintothemoundforaspecifiedamountof time(followlabeldirections).Dependingonthesize ofthemound,severalinsertionsmaybeneededto distributetheinsecticide.Aerosolsgenerallydisperse throughoutthemoundmorequicklythandrenches. However,aswithotherindividualmoundtreatments, applicationoncool,sunnymorningswillhelp maximizecontactwiththecolony(Figure7).While aerosolsaremoreconvenienttousethandrenches, theygenerallyaremorecostlyanddonotprovide significantlybettercontrolthansomedrenches.OrganicInsecticidesCommerciallyavailableorganicproductsthat containingredientssuchasboricacidand diatomaceousearthareknowntokillants.However, Figure7. Injectpressurizedinsecticideintomoundin severalplacesacordingtolabeldirections.theireffectivenessinkillingentirecolonieswhen appliedtomoundshasnotbeenconsistently demonstrated.Therearealsoseveralproductswhich containplantderived,orbotanical,insecticidessuch asrotenone,nicotinesulfate,andpyrethrins.Aswith theothermoundtreatments,theproductmustcontact andkillthequeen(s)tocontrolcolonies.HotWaterScaldingorboilingwater(190to212F)hasbeen usedtoeliminatecolonies.Slowlypouraboutthree gallonsofhotwaterontothemound.Thewater shoulddrainintotheverticaltunnelsofthemound andeventuallycollapsetheentiremoundstructure. Treatmentsmaybemoreeffectiveifappliedoncool, sunnymornings.Ithasbeenreportedthat20to60% ofthemoundstreatedbythismethodhavebeen eliminated.Severalapplicationsmaybeneeded,and hotwatermayinjureplantsadjacenttotreated mounds.Onemustbeverycarefulwhenusinghot watertoavoidburningoneself.ExcavationFireantmoundsmaybedugupandremoved fromanarea.Applytalcumorbabypowdertothe handleofashovelandtheinsideofabuckettodeter theantsfromcrawlingupthehandleorescaping fromthebucket.Thebesttimetoexcavateamound isoncool,sunnymornings,whenamajorityofthe antsandbroodarenearthemoundsurface.

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ImportedFireAntsonLawnsandTurf Page8OtherHomeRemediesandControlDevicesManyhomeremediesandmechanicalcontrol deviceshavenotbeenscientificallyprovento consistentlyeliminatefireantcolonies.Oftentimes thesecureswillkillmanyantsandthecolonywill abandonthemound,thusgivingthefalseimpression thatthecolonywaskilled.Inactuality,thecolony mostlikelyjustestablishedanothermoundelsewhere, andeliminationoftheentirecolony,orthequeen(s) didnotoccur.Somehomeremediesalsoare dangeroustoapplyandcanseriouslycontaminatethe environment.Theseremediesincludetheuseof gasolineorotherpetroleumproducts;batteryacids; bleaches,ammonia,andothercleaningproducts. Suchremediesshouldneverbeused. Other ineffective homeremediesinclude: soapsolutionsandwoodashessoakedintoa mound,whichsupposedlyremovethewaxlayer thatprotectsanant'sbody; applyinggritstofireantmoundsinanattemptto getantstoeatthegrits,whichwillthen supposedlyswellinsidethemandexplodetheants (recallthatantscanonlyingestliquids,sotheydo noteveneatgrits);and, shovelingmoundstogetherinanattempttohave differentcoloniesfightandkilleachother(thisis noteffectivewitheithersingleormultiple-queen colonies).CombiningBroadcastBaitingandIndividual MoundTreatmentsThisstrategyutilizestheefficiencyofbroadcast baitingandthefastactionofindividualmound treatments.Baitsmustbebroadcastfirsttoefficiently reducefireantpopulations(seeGuidelinesfor EffectiveBaitApplications).Waitaminimumof3 daysafterbroadcastingtoallowfireantstoforage anddistributethebaitbeforeindividuallytreating mounds.Treatmoundspreferablywithadust, drench,granular,oraerosolinsecticidespecifically labeledforfireantcontrol.Treatonlymoundsthat arecausingimmediateproblemsorareapotential hazard(e.g.,moundslocatedinareasfrequentedby peopleorpets)(Figure8).Mostmoundsthatreceive thesloweractingbaitswilleventuallybeeliminated, andthepresenceofsmallpopulationsoffireantsmay helpslowthereinfestationofanarea.BarrierandSpotTreatmentsProductsthatcontainactiveingredientssuchas acephate,bendiocarb,carbaryl,chlorpyrifos,diazinon, isofenphos,propoxur,permethrin,andresmethrin, immediatelykillantsoncontact.Theseproductsare usuallysoldasspraysordusts,andsomearelatex paintmixtures.Theymaybeappliedinwidebands onandaroundbuildingfoundations,equipmentand otherareastocreatebarriersthatexcludeants.They alsomaybeappliedtoanttrailstoeliminateforaging ants.Barrierandspottreatmentsdonoteliminate colonies.Followlabeldirectionsforspecificusesand applicationprocedures.OPTIONSFORMANAGINGFIREANT POPULATIONSINLAWNSANDTURFFireantsinfestlawns,schoolyards,athleticfields andparks.Intheseplacestheymayposeamedical threatandaffecthumanactivity.Theirmoundsalso detractfromtheaestheticvalueofthelandscape.TreatmentOptions Option1:ForSmallAreasForsmallareas(usually1acreorless)of ornamentalturforwherepreservationofnativeants isdesired.Thisoptionselectivelycontrolsfireants, butreinvasionshouldbeexpected.Itrequiresmore laborandmonitoringthanotheroptions. Step1. Treatallunwantedfireantmoundsusing theindividualmoundtreatmentofchoice. Step2. Selectivelytreatneworundesirable moundsasneeded.Option2:ForLong-termSuppressionForlong-termantsuppressioninornamentalturf andnon-agriculturallands,includingroadsides.This optionisbestsuitedtolargerareasandwillnot eliminateallantactivity.Suppressionofantsoccurs slowly(weekstomonths)andthecostismoderate. Thisoptionisnotsuggestedforareaswithlarge numbersofnativeantsandfewfireantmounds(15 to20peracreorfewer). Step1. Makeanannualorsemi-annual broadcastapplicationofabait-formulated insecticide(PTAscend,Amdroor Award)inthespringand/orfall.

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ImportedFireAntsonLawnsandTurf Page9Step2. Atleast3daysafterbroadcastingthe Figure8. Combiningbroadcastbaitingwithindividualmoundtreatments:(fromlefttoright)1)broadcastbait;2)waitthreedays; 3)individuallytreatmounds.bait,begintreatingindividualmoundsinsensitive orhightrafficareasasneeded. Inareaswithexcessivelyhighnumbersofmounds peracre(200ormore),twoapplicationsofbaitmay beneededwithinseveralmonthstoresultina satisfactorylevelofantsuppression,sinceallmounds maynotbeaffectedbyasinglebaitapplication. Reapplywhenthepresenceofantsjustifiesthecost oftreatment. Ifandwhenbaitapplicationsareterminated,fire antscanreinfestthearea,sometimeswithmore moundsthanwerepresentinitially.Matedqueens may"seed"thetreatedareawithnewcoloniesandbe unaffectedbytheearlierbaitapplications.Also,in low-lyingfloodproneareas,baitsmaybelesseffective becauseantsmoveinandoutoftheseareasoften.Option3:ToEliminateMoundBuildingand ForagingActivityToeliminateallmoundbuildingandforaging activityinornamentalturf.Effectsofthisoptionare morerapidanddramaticthanwithOption2,butthis optionmaybemoreexpensiveandrequiresmore contactinsecticide. Step1. (Optional).Makeanannualor semi-annualbroadcastapplicationofa bait-formulatedinsecticideinareaswherethere aremanymounds(morethan20);or,individually treatfireantmounds. Step2. Routinelybroadcastorsprayacontact insecticideevery8weeksorsowhenantsare detected.Heedthere-entryor treatment-to-harvestintervalsspecifiedon productlabels.Option4:SmallAreasNeedingMinimal PesticideUseForsmallareas(lessthananacre)whereminimal pesticideuseisdesired,suchasareasfrequentedby youngchildren.Thisoptionisverylaborintensive, andmaybepracticalifonlyafewmoundsare present. Step1. (Optional)Broadcastabait-formulated insecticide.Notethatrelativespeedof populationreductionsfromfireantbaitsarefrom fastesttoslowest:Amdro,Ascend,and Award.However,whileallbaitshavelow mammaliantoxicities,relativetoxicitiesforthe threebaitsfromhighesttolowestare:Amdro, Ascend,andAward.Atthe1to1.5lbper acreapplicationratefortheaboveproducts,bait particlesarewidelyscatteredanddifficulttofind. Step2. Atleastthreedaysafterbaiting(ifbaits wereapplied)individuallydrenchmoundswith hot(scalding)water. Step3. Excavateand/orreapplyhotwaterto moundsthatarestillactive.Repeatwhen necessary. Step4. (Optional)Makeanannualor semi-annualbroadcastapplicationofa bait-formulatedinsecticideinthespringand/or falltosuppressreinfestations.

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ImportedFireAntsonLawnsandTurf Page10CommercialTurfTreatmentOptions Option1:ShippingSodWithinQuarantined AreaTotreatsodtobeshippedwithinthequarantined areauseoptions1,2,or3listedforlawnsand ornamentalturf.Option2:ShippingSodOutofQuarantined AreaTotreatturftobeshippedoutofthequarantined area(fromFloridaImportedFireAntCertification ProcedureManual,revisedSept.1992). Step1. AComplianceAgreementandrequired shippingpermitsmustbeobtainedfromthe FloridaDepartmentofAgricultureandConsumer Services. Step2. Applygranularchlorpyrifosor chlorpyrifoswettablepowder(fordetailsseethe FloridaImportedFireAntCertification ProcedureManual).ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThisarticlewasadaptedfromtheUniversityof Florida,FloridaCooperativeExtensionService bulletin"ImportedFireAntsandTheirManagement inFlorida". Referencestocommercialproductsortrade namesdoesnotimplyanyrecommendationor endorsementbytheauthors,theUSDAorthe UniversityofFloridaoveranyproductsnot mentioned.Productnamesareusedsolelyforthe purposeofprovidingexamples.Allusesofpesticides mustberegisteredbyappropriateStateand/or Federalagencies.