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    The Southern Region IPM Center is located at North Carolina State University, 1730 Varsity Drive, Suite 110, Raleigh, NC 27606, and is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
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Fire Ant Control: The Two-Step Method and Other Approaches

by Janet Hurley, Texas A&M AgriLife

When it comes to insect pests, fire ants would probably top everyone’s list! Red and black imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta and Solenopsis richteri) are invasive species and their painful bites can injure or kill livestock, wildlife, domestic animals, and humans. Their large mounds (as many as 300 per acre) are unsightly and often damage mowers and other equipment. Fire ants also infest buildings and can damage electrical equipment by chewing on wire insulation.

Fire ants cost Americans $6 billion a year, including the cost of insecticides. The Two-Step Method and other approaches described here can lower that cost while reducing environmental damage and improving fire ant control. Knowing your options will allow you to make better choices to protect your family, pets, and property. Continue reading

2017 Annual Imported Fire Ant and Other Invasive Ants Conference

We are pleased to invite you to the 2017 Annual Imported Fire Ant and Other Invasive Ants Conference in Mobile, AL May 16-18, 2017.  The conference will be held at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel, 64 South Water Street, Mobile, AL 36602.

Registration is now open.  Early registration fees are $200 per person until 4:45 pm Central Time, April 14, 2017.  After that date, registration fees will be $250 per person.  Registration fees for graduate students and guests are $100 per person.  Registration will include an evening reception Tuesday, May 16, Continental Breakfast Wednesday, May 17 and Thursday, May 18, and lunch on Wednesday, May 17. Continue reading

Upcoming IPM webinars

The following webinars are being sponsored by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System:

  • February 5- November 4: “All Bugs Good and Bad” Webinar series.
    • The next webinar will be on May 6, @ 2:00 PM. Topic: “Managing Pests of Backyard Pecans”.
  • February 29-November 28: Commercial Horticulture Webinar Series.
    • The next webinar will be on April 25 @ 9:00 AM. Topics: “Leaf Tissue Analysis”, and “Fire Ant Management in Fruits and Vegetables”.
  • January-December: Alabama Crops Monthly Webinars.
    • The next webinar will be on April 12. Topics: “Weed control in peanuts”, “Auxin herbicide resistant crop update & Management of off-target injury”, “Do I have adequate stands: cotton”, “Corn insects”, “Soybeans”, & “Cotton/soybean/peanut early season thrips/insect control”.

Controlling fire ants in gardens

In Insects in the City

by Michael Merchant

One of the common questions about fire ants concerns control within vegetable gardens. This is an especially common question directed to licensed applicators who work for school districts with school gardens.  It also may be an issue for PMPs servicing residential accounts with home gardens.

A standard, low-risk treatment on commercial, residential and school properties is use of a fire ant bait; however many of the most commonly used baits do not allow direct use in vegetable gardens. Fortunately, there is a work-around. Continue reading

National Conference on Urban Entomology

The following announcement is from Kyle Jordan, NCUE Conference Chair.

The 2016 National Conference on Urban Entomology in Albuquerque, NM, is fast approaching (May 22-25, 2016). We will be joining forces with the Imported Fire Ant and Invasive Pest Ant Conference this year in what we hope will be a very successful and long-lasting partnership. Deadlines for awards and papers has been extended to March 1. Please go to our website (http://ncue.tamu.edu) and/or our Facebook group page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ncue16) to check out the nomination forms for the Distinguished Achievement in Urban Entomology Award and the student scholarships (one for each level – undergrad, Master’s, and Ph.D.). Continue reading

More fire ants are coming, says NC State entomologist

In Coastal Review Online


The impossible-to-eradicate, imported red fire ant is going to expand farther and crop up in higher concentrations in North Carolina.

This is primarily due to the fact that one type of social colony of these wildly unpopular insects, known for their painful sting and costly impact to the state’s nursery industry, is killing off another, according to Charles Apperson, a professor of entomology at N.C. State University’s Department of Entomology.

There are two types of fire ant social colonies – monogyne, single-queen colonies, and polygyne, multiple-queen colonies. It’s the polygyne colonies that have the upper hand, destroying single-queen colonies one mound at a time. Continue reading

Texas rains bring out fire ants

The recent rains have brought fire ants closer to the surface, both literally and as a matter of concern for area property owners, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert based in San Antonio.

“Rain doesn’t necessarily make fire ants more abundant,” said Molly Keck, AgriLife Extension entomologist and integrated pest management program specialist for Bexar County. “They were always there; they just weren’t as noticeable. When it rains, the ground becomes saturated and the fire ants move their colonies higher, giving some people the impression there are more of them than there were during dry months.”

Continue reading