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How schools can fight fire ants

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Fireants101.com offers tips on fire ant control as the insects move into more states.

| July 26, 2011

In most cases, fire ant stings mean a trip to the school nurse. But for one in 100 children, fire ant stings mean allergic reactions, with one percent of this group at risk for a life-threatening reaction. That’s why FMC Professional Solutions, a business unit of FMC Corp. launched FireAnts101.com, a new web site teaching schools the latest ways to expel fire ants.

Fireants101.com provides tools to help school facility managers and turf professionals understand fire ant biology and control, prioritize treatment areas and calculate costs. And while supplies last, the site is offering schools a free sample of the new Talstar XTRA granular insecticide, which eliminates fire ants in as little as minutes while providing three months or more of residual control. Talstar XTRA also controls other surface-feeding pests like fleas, ticks, chinch bugs, earwigs, scorpions, and more.

The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) is a potentially serious health threat to millions of schoolchildren living in the southern and coastal United States. Fire ants were introduced to this country in the 1930s via the port of Mobile, Alabama, and have spread to more than 320 million acres and as far north as Maryland and Oregon. Each year, they cost Americans $6 billion in property damage, medical treatments, and control costs.

Fire ants live in mounds in all types of turf, and when disturbed, will attack an intruder en masse. “Each sting brings welts or pustules that can cause infections, allergic reactions or, in very rare cases, death,” explains Dina Richman, PhD., urban entomologist with FMC. “Schools should be proactive to protect students, especially younger ones who may not know to stay away from mounds.”

Fireants101.com promotes proactive monitoring, risk assessment and integrated pest management as keys to proper fire ant control. Visit www.fireants101.com.

 

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