Managing fire ants around poultry facilities

By MWI Technical Services

 

The red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta, are easily identified by their tall mounds formed in clay soils around poultry facilities. Fire ants may initially enter a poultry barn looking to prey on other insects and arthropods or forage on broken eggs, but they can cause problems when attacking chickens. Fire ant stings cause blemishes that can reduce the quality of poultry and reduce the fitness of birds. Multiple stings can even result in the death of some animals. Ants may also sting and cause medical problems for workers as well as cause electrical shortages and equipment failure. Fortunately, fire ants are one of the easiest invasive species to manage using this three-step method!


Step 1

Broadcast fire ant bait products outside of the poultry house at a rate of 1.5 lbs per acre with a broadcast spreader. Do not allow chickens or livestock to have access to the bait, and do not allow the bait to get wet within 24 hours after treatment. This step will kill most of the colonies that you see, AND the colonies that you don’t see. Use one of the following baits:

  • SiestaTM Insecticide Fire Ant Bait (061213)
    • 1.5 lbs/acre
  • ExtinguishTM Plus (983684)
    • 1.5 lbs/acre
  • Amdro® Pro Fire Ant Bait (099626) 
    • 1.5 lbs/acre

Step 2

Two weeks after you broadcast your bait, treat any mounds that still have live ants (active mounds) with a contact insecticide. Mounds may still be present even if the colony was destroyed by baits. Disturb the mound to determine if they are still active. You can use a contact granule or liquid spray for this step:

  • Bifen I/T (057379)
    • 1 oz/gal; spray the top of the each active mound until drenched 
  • Bifen L/P granules (057381) 
    • ½ cup/mound; drench with 1-2 gallons or water or apply before a rain event

Step 3

Use a barrier spray around the outside of the buildings with a long residual efficacy. Be sure to remove weeds and grass around the poultry house to allow for contact of the pesticide to the ground and building:

  • Termidor®SC (063790)
    • 0.8 oz/gal; 1’ up and 1’ out around foundation; around doors, fans, and electrical
      equipment
  • Durashield (051783)
    • 1.75 oz/1000 sq. ft.; 3’ up and 10’ out around foundation; around doors, fans, and
      electrical equipment

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MWI Technical Services

Entomologist
MWI Animal Health
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