The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta (Buren), is a major pest in the United States because of its painful sting. Toxic bait has been an important management tool against fire ants, but site registrations prohibit applications of most baits on grazed pastures. Extinguish, containing the insect growth regulator methoprene, was selected for this study because it has a broad site registration that includes grazed pastures. The primary objective of this research was to evaluate the efficacy for control of red imported fire ants by using broadcast applications of methoprene bait at a label rate of 1,121 g/ha versus applications around the perimeter of a target area at the reduced rate of 280 g/ha. Grazed pastures in Lee County, Alabama, and Chambers County, Alabama, were selected for this study, with broadcast treatments, perimeter treatments, and controls replicated three times at each site. All mounds were counted and rated using the USDA population index before applications and then at 8 and 16 wk posttreatment. Perimeter applications did not significantly reduce S. invicta mound abundance, but bait treatments significantly reduced mound abundance at 16 wk posttreatment at site 1 where applications were conducted in early evening. However, broadcast applications were not effective at site 2 where treatments were conducted in early morning with warmer temperatures. Emergence of winged alates was observed at 12 wk posttreatment, followed by a high density of incipient mounds that may have masked the full treatment effect of methoprene applications at site 2. Methoprene bait was effective in reducing abundance of S. invicta only when full label rates were applied.
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Vol. 99 • No. 3