Fire ant prevention

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by allstar, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. allstar

    allstar LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    I bought this new product,which contains fipronil(chemical name is about a foot long), for eliminating fire ants and am going to try it out on my yard.This is not something that you sprinkle on the mounds but rather you apply it with a fertilizer spreader.It SUPPOSEDLY kills the ants and prevents mound formation for an entire season. It's called OVER'N OUT by a company called GardenTech.
    Fire ants are a huge problem here(probably everywhere).If this stuff works as advertised I believe alot of my customers would gladly pay to have it applied to their lawns.My concern of course is what effect,if any,it will have on the lawn.
    I have always felt like treating fire ant mounds was an exercise in futility.Has anyone tried this product or others like it?Thanks in advance. Jim
     
  2. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    I didn't think over n out was the season-long one .. I thought that was Top Choice. I've heard that it's great, and it's a fipronil product.
     
  3. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957

    Allstar

    Do a search under Fire Ants or Top Choice. There has been a lot posted here about Fire Ant Control. I am not going to rewrite what was already said. If you have question about the old threads just post it to that thread and it will become current. Someone will give you an answer.
     
  4. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    The active ingredient is finopronil. Finopronil is also used for termites and it's the active ingredient they put on the back of a dogs (or cats) neck to treat for fleas & ticks.

    There is less active ingredient in a single bag of Over-N-Out than there is in a drop for the smallest dogs neck.

    I have found that if I apply the Over-N-Out in April it works. When applying in late summer or, god forbid September, (which seems to be when fire ants are the most problematic) Over-N-Out has had no effect at all.

    I just had to refund a lady for my fire ant control. I applied one bag in early August to a 4,500 sq ft lawn/landscape. She called me two weeks later and there were three mounds. I used Orthene and applied yet another bag of Over-N-Out. Next week, another call. This time four new mounds. I apply Orthene again. Tell her to just wait and see what happens. Next week, 2 new mounds. Finally, I just told her I'd refund her money. Only after looking like a total fool. She said it seemed as if my product were actually attracting the fire ants. Anyway, I was there to mow again today and wouldn't you know it! Another brand new mound. Oh well, not my problem anymore.

    Last year, (2002) Over-N-Out was advertised on the NCAA basketball tournament. I bought a bag, applied it to my lawn and I had no fire ants all year. This year, I had four people sign up in the spring. Three worked, one failed. I re-applied and it worked. Then this lady signed up in August and it was a total failure. Of course, I treated my lawn again this spring, but I've had two mounds in the last 3 weeks.

    Top Choice has the same active ingredient, only it's about 30%more expensive. But it does have about 40% more active ingredient.

    This winter I'm going to try to get in touch with the university guys who actually did the testing on finopronil with fire ants. I have a feeling the stuff works, but you have got to set the correct expectations with the customer before applying. I've called and spoken with the Gardentech sales director, Darren Hoarst was his name I think, but I wasn't too impressed with him.

    If I decide to continue on with the fire ant control product, I think I'll go with Top Choice. The Lesco guy said they'd warrant the product same as GardenTech.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  5. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Whoops. My bad. It's not finopronil...it's fipronil.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957

    Allstar

    Below is a copy and paste of a reply I made in an other forum concerning Fire Ants.


    Top Choice is a great product, but at $126. A bag it is not in everyone’s price range. True it does last a year and if mole crickets are a problem then you get two for one.

    Texas A & M developed a Fire Ant Program called the "Texas Two Step" I have found it to be very successful. Sorry I don't have there website URL but you may find via search engine.

    STEP #1 Ant baits are applied over the entire property to be treated. If the weather is between 70-90 degrees worker ants carry the bait back to the nest and into the food chain. If the weather is not between 70-90 degrees then the colony will be inactive. Monogyne colonies (single Queen) (reddish color) will be easier to control than Pologyne colonies (20-60 Queens)(orangish-brown color) and may require more treatment. It is important to remember that after mating Queens can fly 12 miles and their nests do not become visible for up to 3-4 months. Baits are effective during this time. Baits containing Hydramethylnon work in 1-5 weeks and kill all members of the colony. Baits containing Fenoxycarb or Abamectin stop egg production and take 5-10 weeks to kill all members of the colony.

    STEP#2a Spot treat all visible mounds 2-3 days after applying bait and keep customer happy

    Step# 2b Apply general insecticide treatment a week later to stop forging ants and keep customer happy


    It costs about $15.00 to treat an acre with baits. Studies have shown that early summer application give control for up to a year on treated areas over an acre. The larger the area treated the longer the control. Once control is gained it can be maintained with bait treatments every three months on smaller properties





    The above reply was to a discussion about fipronil the active in Top Choice. FIPRONIL TAKES 5 TO 6 WEEKS TO WORK or about the same time as baits containing Hydramethylnon.



    DFW Area Landscaper

    I think if you had done a little more home work and understood life cycles and insecticides, you would not of had the problems you stated. You would not had to re-apply a chemical that had not been given enough time to work and You could have educated your customer instead of refunding her money. But then again your customer got every thing she paid for. My customers pay more for what I know than for what I do. The sad thing is too many states sell pesticide licenses at the local drug store. I can hear you screaming now and I haven't clicked the submit reply yet. Don't get mad at me. Get a real education.
     
  7. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Ric,

    ++++Don't get mad at me. Get a real education.++++

    That's why I'm on here. If I didn't care, I wouldn't be researching this.

    So what you're saying is that if I leave the mounds untouched for 5 to 6 weeks, they'll die off from the Fipronil?

    The only problem is, I applied the stuff on August 4th. Since I made the application, there have been several new mounds each and every week. I've been applying Orthene to the mounds as they appear. Anyway, we had a new mound appear this week, October 8th. That's WAY more than 5 to 6 weeks after application. That's more like 9 weeks.

    I'm curious. If I were your customer, how would you sell your fire ant service? What would you tell me it will do for me without over promising?

    Sevin/Over-N-Out is guaranteeing their product, but with results like I'm getting this time of year, I'd guess they're refunding a lot money.

    I'm curious to know how you sell this service without over promising. I had been telling my customers that one application would prevent new mounds for the season and it was working up til late summer. But now I'm not so sure. I've had such opposite results with this stuff comparing spring to late summer applications. It seems to work very well if applied in the spring and not work at all if applied in late summer.

    Thanks,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957

    DFW

    I was just in your town 9/19 & 9/20. Downtown Dallas on a Saturday night is a mad house. Long lines to get in Every juc-joint. I can't tell you how many times I got lost on the interstates. I have a niece who lives there and her Husband is a Certified Landscape Architect.

    Texas Two Step. The second step works on Fipronil the same as baits, Both take a while to work. Step 2b above is a general pesticide application. The big trick here is to use a lot of water with a wetting agent. Talstar works good and has a month of residual. OK you don't have a big sprayer So Talstar granules works great just water it in real good.

    Texas Two Step. Step one only with Fipronil. OK first let me say I have never used Over and Out. Second Always read the Label completely of any pesticide. Top Choice label will tell you to water it in. Do so as soon as possible after applying. Any chemical that is hit by sun light will start to break down. Over and Out should be no different. No I have never seen a Over and Out label.

    Next my questions are. 1. Did you read the label completely. 2. did you water in the Over and Out right away. 3. Did you apply this product at label rate. 4. Do you calibrate your spreader. No answer required. However these are the reasons Over and Out might not have worked for you. I am 1300 miles away from you so I can only guess why the product didn't work for you.



    Marketing Fire Ant Control. Now after a wonderful Divorce. I now live under the bridge down by the river in my 1975 3 door hatch back Pinto. The closes pay phone # ends in 2687 and that spells ANTS. The divorce has been a while and I can afford to have the other pay phone hook to a toll free number 866-268-7***. That spells 8NO ANTS ***. Now I have both these number on the side of my Pinto and my Huff Spray Bike with the B&G boom sprayer. ( Mr. Jim aka groundskper. has a better car than I do but I will let him tell you). Bottom line Signs can work. News letters on you invoice will keep customer informed and are a wonderful way to sell up grades or other services. In your area I would not spend a lot of money on yellow page advertising because there are to many big boys with big ads and your will be lost. However here in East Hicksville a small Yellow page add does. Last but the most important is Word of mouth.

    What do I promise my Customer?? one year Fire Ant control. With free call backs. We have had over 70" of rain this year and Fire Ants are on the move. No call Backs so far.
     
  9. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    That was awesome, Ric!
     
  10. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    Southern hobos living under bridges? Too bad they don't have the success we do up north. Divorces are bummers, but I at least have a tent to live in. And two cars. My only problem is when it rains, do I park

    my BMW Isetta:
    [​IMG]

    or my Messerschmitt:
    [​IMG]

    in the tent?

    But this year has been so profitable, I think I can buy another tent for the other car.

    And if we ever get fire ants up here, I'll make such a killing that I'll be doing my applications on a Moped instead of a Huffy!
     

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