Rockwell introduces bait for tawny crazy ants

By |  June 12, 2013

NORTH KANSAS CITY, MO.—InVict Blitz Ant Granules are a new tool now available from Rockwell Labs Ltd to help pest management professionals (PMPs) battle the non-native tawny crazy ants, as well as other persistent ant species.

Referred to as Caribbean crazy ants in Florida or Rasberry crazy ants in Texas, it was thought these were two different ant species. Recently, the Entomological Society of America (ESA) has determined they are the same ant species, and they are not Caribbean crazy ants, a similar species that has been in Florida for many years, but doesn’t have the destructive habits of the newer species. The new species has been determined to be Nylanderia fulva, and the ESA has given them the name tawny crazy ants .

Tawny crazy ants have been spreading throughout the Gulf Coast region of the United States and throughout Florida, primarily through commerce transport, over the past 15 years. The ants are uniformly sized, 1/8-in. long and are reddish-brown in appearance. The colonies can number in the millions and have multiple queens.
The ants nest in nearly any object that retains moisture, including stumps, soil, leaves, under rocks and other debris. The worker ants are attracted to sweet parts of plants and can often be found near plants where aphids, scale insects, white flies and mealy bugs are present.

The nectar secreted from these insects attracts the worker ants. They invade structures like homes, businesses, hospitals and more. Although they aren’t a public health threat, the massive numbers make them a significant nuisance and much of their damage is done by invading electronic equipment causing short circuits and power outages. Tawny crazy ants are ecologically dominating and attack and displace other ant species, including red imported fire ants.

Recent research presented at the University of Florida’s Southeast Pest Management Conference in May shows that, unlike most other ant species, tawny crazy ants show little seasonal food preferences. They have a higher protein to carbohydrate preference in their food sources, throughout the year, which is an important factor in bait development.

InVict Blitz, the first bait specifically developed for these ants, features a proprietary bait matrix with a protein content higher than other baits, but balanced with carbohydrates to provide an optimal bait they will forage and feed to the colony.  InVict Blitz contains 0.5% imidacloprid, a non-repellent insecticide. The combination of the custom bait matrix, a potent active, an effective use rate, and reasonable cost makes InVict Blitz a valuable residual tool in the management of these difficult ants.

InVict Blitz is labeled for use indoors, including food areas, and outdoors, including perimeter and turf applications, and numerous other sites. The application rate is four to eight oz. per 1,000 sq. ft., and the bait can be re-applied as early as one week after application. No personal protective equipment (PPE) is required.  InVict Blitz is currently available in Texas, Georgia, Lousiana and Florida, and is sold in 1-lb. shakers and 20-lb. pails.

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