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EPA OKs emergency label for tawny crazy ant insecticide

News Release Distributed 06/25/14

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana homes and other buildings that are infested with tawny crazy ants now have a remedy as a result of a Section 18 quarantine exemption use label for Termidor SC insecticide.

The U.S. EPA gave the chemical the emergency exemption for use until Nov. 1, 2015, according to LSU entomologist Dennis Ring.

“This is a restricted-use pesticide that can only be applied by pest control operators or pesticide applicators who are appropriately certified by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry,” Ring said.

The tawny crazy ant must be specifically identified in a designated parish before the chemical can be used for the tawny crazy ant, he said.

“They have to be identified by an LSU AgCenter entomologist,” Ring said. “Samples have to be sent to the AgCenter and identified before any treatment under the Section 18 quarantine exemption may be applied in a parish.”

Samples can be sent to Ring at 404 Life Sciences Bldg., Department of Entomology, 110 LSU Union Square, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

The emergency label states Termidor SC can be applied for control of crazy ant species associated with man-made structures in Louisiana within the parishes of Ascension, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Lafayette, Lafourche, Morehouse, Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Terrebonne and West Baton Rouge, as well as additional parishes where positive identification has been made by LSU AgCenter entomologists.

The ants grow to huge populations with multiple nests. They do not sting, and the bite – if they bite at all – does not hurt. The ants tend to run around haphazardly. That’s why they’re called crazy ants.

These pests are tiny, reddish-brown, and they run around in a crazy manner, said Victoria Bayless, a research associate in the AgCenter Department of Entomology.

The crazy ant was first recorded in the United States in southern Florida during the 1950s, but populations remained local, Bayless said.

In 2000, the number of reports escalated and continued to increase. In 2002, they were reported in Houston, Texas, by Tom Rasberry, a pest control operator. Thus, the common name “Rasberry crazy ant” does not imply the ants are attracted to raspberries.

“In 2009, the ant was collected on the Mississippi coast. And since that time, entomologists have been expecting the crazy ant to invade Louisiana from either the Texas population or the Mississippi population,” Bayless said.

Rick Bogren
Last Updated: 6/25/2014 2:27:51 PM

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