Wood GlenFire Ant Monitoring and Control Program
Invasive non-native fire ants are problematic throughout the southern United States. They hurt when they sting, they can invade electrical equipment causing short circuits and equipment failure, and they impact the native wildlife. It is estimated that the economic losses in Texas are about $300 million annually.
Wood Glen HOA, working with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, has a community-wide program to suppress fire ant activity in our yards and common areas. Joining in the community wide fire ant baiting effort can help reduce the number of fire ants within the neighborhood as well as increase the number of native ants. By joining together, re-invasion boundaries can be pushed further out causing a longer period of time to elapse before fire ants move back into the area. Studies show that community management can reduce the number of fire ants within the community, reduce the amount of money spent on fire ant management and reduce the amount of chemical placed into the environment.
The community-wide baiting is Step 1 of the Two-Step Method for controlling fire ants. Step 2 is treatment of any new or remaining individual active mounds. More information can be found at http://fireant.tamu.edu/controlmethods/twostep/.
Approximately every 3 months, Wizzie Brown of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service performs fire ant monitoring. This involves surveying 17 areas throughout the neighborhood (~14 front yards and ~3 common areas) to identify active mounds and check for foraging activity. Foraging activity is determined by leaving bait (hot dog pieces) for a couple of hours and then returning to check for ants.
Spring and Fall Baiting
Front Yards and Common Areas: Bait is professionally applied to the front yards and common areas. It is helpful to turn off sprinkler systems and park vehicles in the driveway the day the front yards are treated.
Back Yards: Homeowners can apply bait to their back yards for additional control. Wood Glen POA provides bait for backyards at the Backyard Bait Pickup Day each spring and fall. To get bait for your backyard, bring your hand held spreader to the amenity area on the Backyard Bait Pickup Day. Since bait should not be applied within 12 hours of rain, the Backyard Bait Pickup Day will be rescheduled in case of rain in the forecast.
Tips for baiting
For any questions please call Wizzie Brown, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Program Specialist at 512.854.9600.