PPMA replicates RIFA nest for consumer awareness


June 24, 2020


“We want people’s jaws to drop when they see this. We want them to understand and make the connection that ants are a much bigger problem around the home and that they need a pest control professional to effectively treat the crazy looking nest that lies beneath,” PPMA Executive Director Cindy Mannes said. “We want them to call you.” IMAGE: PPMA

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a zinc cast model of a fire ant nest just might speak volumes to the public about protecting their families and properties from red imported fire ants, or RIFA (Solenopsis invicta).

That’s the hope of the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA), which serves as the public outreach arm of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). On June 23, the PPMA released its latest video project chronicling the creation and excavation of a fire ant nest cast in zinc to show how these social pests live and work in large, complex colonies. According to a news release, the nest is believed to have contained more than 200,000 fire ants, “demonstrating how just a few tiny ants can actually mean a much larger problem if not treated at the source: the nest.”

A team of entomologists took molten zinc, raised to temperatures above 700°F, and poured it into a RIFA nest that ran as deep as 5 feet below the surface of the ground. The result is an intricate, three-dimensional casting that exposes the immense scale of a typical RIFA colony containing upwards of 100 different chambers. The project uses a mix of high-resolution video footage and photography in the style of an archeological dig conducted by NPMA’s certified entomology team.

Watch the video here.

The PPMA is using these materials to launch a robust media relations and social media campaign. In addition, for PPMA Mainframe subscribers, there is a media toolkit to incorporate into their own marketing programs. Learn more at NPMApestworld.org/PPMA.


About the Author

Heather Gooch

Heather Gooch is the editor-in-chief for PMP magazine. She can be reached at hgooch@northcoastmedia.net or 330-321-9754.

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