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Taking the fire out of fire ants

Posted Thursday, October 2, 2008

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Pittsboro, NC - Cooperative Extension in Chatham County will offer a program on fire ant management on Wednesday, October 15, 2008. There is no charge for the program that begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Agriculture Building in downtown Pittsboro. Participants are required to call 919-542-8202 to pre-register for limited seating no later than October 13, 2008.

Extension agents Al Cooke and Sam Groce will conduct the program. Cooke reports that calls have been coming in from "all over the county" about how to control fire ants. He emphasizes that many available products can be used to manage fire ants, "but how those products are used is more important."

Neither Cooke nor Groce will promise that you will eliminate fire ants. Their presentation will focus on understanding the life within a fire ant mound and using the ants' habits to our advantage. They will present strategies recognized as effective for dealing with fire ant mounds along with their advantages and disadvantages.

As a livestock agent, Groce points out that there are very few products that can be used in pastures or forage crops. "This is both a safety and a legal issue. It is a violation of Federal law to use pesticides in a location not specified on the label."

Both agents agree that fall is an excellent time for treating fire ant mounds. "Ants are actively foraging in the fall. If we can reduce the numbers now, there may be fewer queens mating and establishing new mounds next year."

Pesticide Recertification credit has been approved for 2 hours credit in the categories of G, H, I, K, L, N, O, D, X. The credits for this class will be awarded for the year 2009 on your license. The program is appropriate for both professionals and non-professionals. Seating will be limited for the program. Participants are required to call 919.542.8202 or e-mail to pre-register no later than October 13, 2008.

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