Consider applications for RIFA management

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April 5, 2021

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April 5, 2021


Dr. Janis Reed, BCE, Technical Services Manager, Product Development Team, Control Solutions Inc.

Dr. Janis Reed, BCE, Technical Services Manager, Product Development Team, Control Solutions Inc.

Growing up in central Texas, red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta, also known as RIFA) were a reality anytime I played outside. Any southerner worth their sweet tea can recognize mounds — and avoid them.

Female RIFA workers use their modified ovipositors to sting. Stinging behavior occurs for a variety of reasons, including an aggressive defense of their nests as well as subduing their prey. When RIFA sting, the effects are typically an itchy sore that develops into a pustule. However, some people can have dangerous allergic reactions to their stings.

RIFA management begins outdoors where they occur. Broadcast applications of fire ant baits are an effective method for managing populations. Making these types of applications when ants are active, and especially in the fall as the ant populations are preparing for winter, has been shown to be the most effective use of the baits.

For indoor infestations, using exterior broadcast baits combined with indoor applications can protect the inhabitants of the structure from painful stings.

About the Author

Dr. Janis Reed, BCE, Technical Services Manager, Control Solutions Inc.

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