For the past several years, GrowinGreen has celebrated Earth Day by giving back to the earth and/or our community by celebrating with our annual Day of Service. This year, like the last two years, we spent our Day of Service at the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman. Victory Junction is a camp for children with serious illnesses and was founded in honor of Adam Petty by Kyle and Pattie Petty.
This year, for our Day of Service, Victory Junction asked that we help them with their fire ant problem. We donated our service, and Bayer Environmental Science was gracious enough to donate a product called Top Choice that controls fire ants for a minimum of one year. In many cases, we have seen it will actually control fire ants for up to two years!
Victory Junction was concerned that their campers could be bitten by the fire ants. Unfortunately, fire ant bites can sting and burn and can be extremely painful. If a fire ant mound is disturbed, the ants will rush out and ‘attack’ whatever is disturbing their mound. Scientists have found that once the ants find the disturbance, a designated ant will release a pheromone that tells all of the other ants to bite at the same time. Needless to say, fire ants are relentless and need to be taken care of before they get out of control! And, this is especially true when children that are already struggling with medical issues are involved.
It is very difficult to identify a fire ant based on its color. A fire ant could be red or black or red and black. The best way to identify a fire ant is to identify its mound. A fire ant mound can get very large. When I say very large, I mean up to, and sometimes over, three feet tall! When you disturb the mound, the ants will rush out and are obviously searching for the disturbance. Fire ant mounds are generally near heat sources such as sidewalks, buildings, AC units and concrete. A ‘small’ mound is generally not smaller than six inches.
The reason Top Choice is such as effective product versus the old methods of using baits and general insecticides, is that it is undetectable in the mound. When the worker ants come in contact with the product, they carry it back to the queen which causes the entire mound to collapse within approximately thirty days. It then lasts in the soil about a year and it prevents new ants from entering the area. However, depending on soil type, moisture and other factors, we have seen it last quite a bit longer.
We would like to take the opportunity to extend a HUGE thank you to Dave Swanigan, Jose Milan and Peter Farno with Bayer Environmental Science for donating enough Top Choice for us to successfully complete this entire project! Without partnerships like this, we could not have helped Victory Junction with their fire ant problem and, in turn, we could not have made the camp a safer place for the kids. We truly appreciate the partnership that we have with Bayer and we appreciate the assistance that they provided with this project!
If you have any questions about fire ants or if you would like a free, no obligation evaluation, please give us a call at 336-854-7999. As always, we are here to answer your questions!