Q: We would like to treat our eighty-four acre farm pastures for fire ant mounds. There is no livestock there but our two dogs are trained on the fields. We can’t stand how the mounds look and our dogs are tired of being stung.
A: I found three products that are labeled for use on pastures. Methoprene (Extinguish) is a growth regulator. Hydramethylnon (Amdro Pro) is a slow-acting insecticide bait that is carried into pasture mounds by foraging ants. Spinosad (Justice) is a nerve toxin derived from a naturally-occurring bacterium. No matter what you use, it’s going to be expensive to treat such a large area. Your best bet might be to declare a smaller ant-free zone, for dog training, and treat it with one of the three products according to label directions.
On the long-term horizon, much research is being done regarding a parasitic fly that attacks fire ants. There is also a disease that kills the pests. Both are still in the research stage but the good news is that the fly has naturalized in north Florida. Maybe it will work its way here sometime soon.