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Meeting ID: 831 8400 5586
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Heather Forester, Hawaii Ant Lab, Invasive Ant Extension Specialist
Alison Wagner, Hawaii Ant Lab, Invasive Ant Extension Technician
Date & Time: June 17, 2020 at 9am-12pm
(Alison Wagner) 1.5 hour
Introduction and LFA Biology
Wasmannia auropunctata (Little Fire Ants or LFA) are listed as one of the world’s top 100 most invasive species (www.issg.org/database). This stinging ant can impact your quality of life and prevent you from doing normal activities, such as gardening, farming, or enjoying the outdoors. These ants will also disrupt your life indoors if you allow them to move in, by stinging adults and children while they sleep. LFA can also impact our pets by stinging them in the eyes potentially causing a clouding of the cornea called keratopathy that can lead to blindness. On infested farms, such as fruit tree farms, workers will refuse to pick in some instances, because LFA will rain down and sting them when they are harvesting. Arborists, landscapers, and farmers may also see a secondary impact of black sooty mold caused by the increase of plant pests (such as aphids, scale insects, and mealybugs) that LFA farm for food. This can lead to plant disease, reduction in the quality of produce, and overall crop loss for farmers. LFA impact everyone, and it is a personal responsibility to prevent the spread of this invasive ant.
LFA are tramp ants that can hitchhike on potted plants, landscaping materials, mulch, cinder, cars, pallets, coconuts, pineapple tops, and other items brought by vendors. A single colony can fit inside of a macadamia nut shell and have multiple queens all working together. In order to transport a colony, you need a fertile queen and several workers to assist her. The queens can live for several years and are the only ants in the colony that can reproduce. The workers on the other hand, only live for about three months and are not capable of reproduction. The worker ants are very cryptic, because they are about as long as a penny is thick (1/16 inch), relatively slow moving, and reddish-orange in color.
Survey and identification will be discussed and demonstrated via video.
(Heather Forester) 30 minutes
How to Read the Label for Recommended Products
Sites for Application
Mixing and Loading/Proper Usage Situations to Avoid
(Heather Forester) 1 hour
The Hawaii Ant Lab works with the community to spread knowledge on prevention and treatment methods which can be employed by industry and residents.
Whether you have Little Fire Ants, applying granular and or gel bait in and around your property will either help to reduce the ant problem or, when possible, eradicate an incipient population. Ant baits are an attractive food laced with a toxin. Ants harvest this food and take it back to the nest where it is shared with the rest of the colony. Once the toxin takes effect most or all of the ants are killed. Baits are the recommended treatment because it is very effective and also minimizes use of pesticides.
Barrier treatments are insecticides that are sprayed or sprinkled around areas where ants are to be excluded. Some barrier treatments are granular and can be applied to soil and turf. As ants and other insects crawl over the treated areas, they come into contact with the toxin and are killed. Barrier treatments usually have a residual activity and can provide protection for many months. It is not a good idea to apply a barrier treatment at the same time as a bait, because the ants carrying the baits back to the nest will be killed and the colony might survive. Always apply the barrier treatment at least a week or so AFTER you have applied baits.
Hawai’i Ant Lab Gel Bait mixing and application will be demonstrated via video.