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I. d. History of Fire Ant Management Based on a Presentation by David F. Williams Department of Entomology & Nematology University of Florida A Teaching.

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Presentation on theme: "I. d. History of Fire Ant Management Based on a Presentation by David F. Williams Department of Entomology & Nematology University of Florida A Teaching."— Presentation transcript:

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2 I. d. History of Fire Ant Management Based on a Presentation by David F. Williams Department of Entomology & Nematology University of Florida A Teaching Module for Master Gardener Training

3 Management of Imported Fire Ants in the 1930’s & 1940’s First attempts were to eradicate 1937: the first organized management program began with approximately 2,000 acres in Baldwin County Calcium cyanide dust : During these years (WWII), all management programs halted---fire ants continued to spread 1948: Mississippi, Alabama & Louisiana appropriated funds for control program 5% chlordane dust

4 Management of Imported Fire Ants in the 1950’s 1957: U.S. Congress appropriated $2.4M to USDA for federal/state cooperative 1957: U.S. Congress appropriated $2.4M to USDA for federal/state cooperative Management and eradication program Management and eradication program Nov heptachlor & dieldrin applied by air and ground Nov heptachlor & dieldrin applied by air and ground Environmental concerns began one year later, 1958, stopped Environmental concerns began one year later, 1958, stopped

5 Management of Imported Fire Ants in the 1960’s 1960: mirex bait developed by the USDA 1960: mirex bait developed by the USDA 1962: mirex bait replaced heptachlor as treatment for fire ants 1962: mirex bait replaced heptachlor as treatment for fire ants 1962: publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring 1962: publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring

6 AIRCRAFT BEING LOADED WITH MIREX BAIT Converted WWII aircraft used to apply mirex bait More than 140 million acres treated

7 Management of Imported Fire Ants: The Mirex Years Total treatment costs = 0.30 cents/acre Total treatment costs = 0.30 cents/acre Late 1960’s: mirex residues detected in non-targets Late 1960’s: mirex residues detected in non-targets All registrations of mirex cancelled in 1978 because: All registrations of mirex cancelled in 1978 because: Persisted in the environment Persisted in the environment Accumulated in non-target organisms Accumulated in non-target organisms Toxic to estuarine organisms Toxic to estuarine organisms Potential carcinogen action noted Potential carcinogen action noted

8 In 1977, the USDA initiated a large-scale chemical screening program to find a replacement for mirex. In 1980, just 2.5 years after mirex was banned AMDRO FIRE ANT BAIT BECAME AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC

9 Development of Imported Fire Ant Chemical Controls 1937 – calcium cyanide dust 1937 – calcium cyanide dust 1947 – chlordane dust 1947 – chlordane dust 1957 – heptachlor & dieldrin granulars 1957 – heptachlor & dieldrin granulars 1962 to 1978 – mirex 1962 to 1978 – mirex 1980’s – hydramethylnon, fenoxycarb, & abamectin 1980’s – hydramethylnon, fenoxycarb, & abamectin 1990’s – pyriproxyfen, methoprene, & spinosad 1990’s – pyriproxyfen, methoprene, & spinosad 2000’s – fipronil, indoxacarb, & ??? 2000’s – fipronil, indoxacarb, & ???

10 Two-Step Method for Treating Lawns For moderate to large areas of turf Not recommended for lightly infested areas Goal: Reduce fire ant problems while minimizing need to treat individual mounds Step 1- Broadcast bait product in spring and/or fall Step 2 - Treat nuisance mounds as necessary; start scouting 3 days after bait treatment

11 Community-wide Fire Ant Management Cooperative efforts can save money and effort Lengthens time of re-infestation Education is key Homeowners cooperate by treating the neighborhood Homeowner associations can contract with a commercial applicator to treat neighborhood

12 Concluding Remarks CHEMICAL CHEMICAL CONTROL is still the most effective method; however, biological control agents may provide long term suppression of fire ant populations. s FUTURE CONTROL will involve multiple strategies of chemical, biological, behavioral, molecular, physical and cultural methods is an important key and plays EDUCATION is an important key and plays a vital role in the management of IFA; hence the development of

13 For more information, visit eXtension at Publications, slide sets, streaming video, posters, and more…


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