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Fire Ant Funeral Starts Saturday (March 25)

MWCA kicks off its Spring 2017 fire ant funeral on Saturday (March 25).  This neighborhood service is available free of charge throughout the Magnolia Woods community and is designed to reduce infestations of the painful insect.

Sam Martin and Steve Harrison bag up enough sterilant to treat an average yard.

Sam Martin and Steve Harrison bag up enough sterilant to treat an average yard.

Fire ants are controlled by spreading a combination bait/sterilant that is specifically formulated to contain fire ant populations by preventing queens from producing eggs.   It is essential that as many yards as possible are treated and that all residents treat their yards between March 25 and April 3 to reduce the likelihood that ants will move into a treated yard from a neighboring property that has not been treated.

Project leader Allyn Whaley-Martin cautions residents to keep an eye on the weather, though.  The sterilant should not be spread within six hours of rain or on grass that is wet from dew or rain.

Beginning Saturday, volunteers will bring each residence a packet that contains enough sterilant to treat the an average-sized yard, along with step by step instructions for spreading it.   Residents who don’t own a hand spreader can borrow one by emailing her at brmwca@gmail.com.  Those who need help spreading the sterilant can also email Whaley-Martin for assistance.

The product that we’re using is safe for children, pets, and beneficial insects–even harmless ants, says Dr. Steve Harrison of the LSU Agcenter.  The idea is to spread the sterilant thinly across the entire yard. As fire ant workers forage for food, they pick up the sterilant and carry it deep into the mound.

 

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