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Management — Treatment Products

Active Ingredients on Fire Ant Products


Fire Ant Bait Products Sorted By Active Ingredient
Indoxacarb Workers bring bait back to colony and larvae metabolically activate the indoxacarb. Colony death can occur within 3 days. Advion™ FAB, Spectacide® Fire Ant Killer Plus Preventer Bait Once & Done™
These ingredients kill ants by preventing them from converting food into energy. These baits eliminate fire ant colonies within a week when applied to individual mounds, but these take several weeks when broadcast. They are also formulated in bait granules and bait stations. (hydramethylnon: Amdro®, AmdroPro, ProBait, Combat®, MaxForce®)
This bait product is derived from a soil fungus and inhibits nerve transmission. As a mound treatment, it kills worker ants and colonies quickly, but as a broadcast treatment it acts more like an insect growth regulator, preventing the production of viable eggs. (Ascend®, Clinch®, Optigard® FAB)
These natural metabolite products are produced by a soil microorganism (Saccharopolyspora spinosa), and affect the nervous system. Bait formulations have a speed of activity similar to hydramethylnon and sulfluramid baits. (Green Light FA Control, Ferti-Lome Come and Get it! FAK, Southern Ag Payback FAB and others)
Phenyl Pyrazole
A nervous system toxicant, it blocks the passage of chlorine ions by interacting with gamma-aminobuteric acid (GABA) gated chloride channels on nerve membranes. A bait formulation is available for use as a broadcast or individual mound treatment for use on home lawns, golf courses and commercial and recreational turf, adjacent landscape beds and sod farms. Broadcast application provides maximum control 6 to 12 weeks after treatment. (CeaseFire™ FAB)
Insect Growth Regulators
(fenoxycarb, methoprene, pyriproxyfen or 2-[1-methyl-2(4-phenoxyphenoxy) ethoxyl] pyridine)
These materials mimic the effects of the insect’s own juvenile hormone, reducing the production of viable eggs and preventing the development of worker ants for up to a year after application. They do not kill adult ants. Treated ant colonies persist for several months after treatment, until worker ants present at the time of treatment die naturally. These products are formulated as a bait to be applied to individual mounds or broadcast. (fenoxycarb: Award®, methoprene: Extinguish®, pyriproxyfen: Distance®, Esteem)


Fire Ant Contact Insecticides Sorted By Active Ingredient
(d-limonene, pyrethrins, others)
These plant-derived products have various modes of action. D-limonene is a citrus oil extract that kills ants quickly. Pyrethrins, which act on the nerve axon, also kill ants quickly (within minutes to hours) and can be used as mound treatments or surface sprays. Rotenone acts on respiratory tissues, along with nerves and muscles. Pyrethrins and rotenone products break down rapidly in the environment. Rotenone and pine oil (turpentine) products are relatively slow-acting (days to weeks) and are applied as mound drenches. (pyrethrins, PBO and silicon dioxide: BombsAway FADehydrator, Demise FA & Insect Dehydrator; d-limonene: Orange Guard Fire Ant Control)
Derivatives of Pyrethrins
(allethrin, resmethrin, sumithrin, tetramethrin)
Like pyrethrins, these products destabilize nerve cell membranes and kill quickly, but are quickly deactivated and have little residual activity. They are applied as aerosol injections, mound drenches or surface sprays. (tetramethrin + esfenvalerate: Misty FA Injector Spray II; d-trans allethrin: Rainbow Liquid Fire Ant and Insect Killer)
(bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin, fenvalerate, fluvalinate, lambda-cyhalothrin, permethrin, s-bioallethrin, s-fenvalerate, tefluthrin, tralomethrin)
These products also destabilize nerve cell membranes. They can persist in the environment longer than pyrethrins and their derivatives. They are relatively quick-killing and are applied as mound drenches, dusts or surface sprays and granules. (bifenthrin: Talstar® or Ortho® FAK G; cyfluthrin: Bayer® Advanced Lawn FAK D; deltamethrin: Eliminator FAK, Eagles-7 FA Destroyer, Basic Solution FAK, Bengal Ultradust 2X FAK, Terro FAK; gamma-cyhalothrin: Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer Once and Done! Granules; permethrin:Hi-Yield Kill-a-Bug II Lawn Granules, Green Light FAK, Howard Johnson’s FAK, Spectracide No Odor FAK D)
These materials disrupt nerve transmission (cholinesterase inhibitor). They are relatively quick-killing and are used as mound drenches and surface sprays. (Sevin®)
(acephate, chlorpyrifos, dichlorvos, fenthion, isofenphos, malathion, propetamphos, trichlorfon)
These products also interfere with nerve cell transmission (cholinesterase inhibitor). They are relatively quick-killing. Formulated as aerosols, liquids, dusts or granules, they are applied as mound treatments or surface applications. (acephate: Orthene®, Surrender Fire Ant Killer and others).
Phenyl Pyrazole
A nervous system toxicant, fipronil blocks the passage of chlorine ions by interacting with gamma-aminobuteric acid (GABA) gated chloride channels on nerve membranes. Granular formulations are available to broadcast-apply to turfgrass areas achieving maximum control four to eight weeks following application, and maintaining control for up to a year. (TopChoice Insecticide, Chipco® Choice Insecticide)
Inorganic Compounds Boric acid is a slow-acting stomach poison. It is commonly formulated as a dust or liquid bait for control of ants. Diatomaceous earth products (D.E., silicone dioxide) are usually applied to ant trails indoors. D.E. abrades the waxy layer from the insect exoskeleton, causing the insect to desiccate. However, D.E. does not eliminate colonies within treated mounds. When D.E. is used as a carrier in formulations of pyrethrins, it may enhance penetration of this botanical insecticide into insect bodies.

Policy statement for making chemical control suggestions

Suggested pesticides must be registered and labeled for use by the Environmental Protection Agency and the appropriate state Department of Agriculture or regulatory agency. The status of pesticide label clearances is subject to change and may have changed since this publication was printed. County Extension agents and specialists are advised of changes as they occur.

The USER is always responsible for the effects of pesticide residues, as well as for problems that could arise from drift or movement of pesticides from his property to that of others. Always read and follow carefully the instructions on the product label.

The information given herein is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the participating states’ Cooperative Extension Service is implied.