Does Amdro Fire Ant Bait Harm Birds?
Q: I’ve looked at the Amdro Fire Ant Bait website and can not find out if Amdro harms birds. I put Amdro around ant hills in my yard and I see birds foraging for food on the ground nearby. Will they eat Amdro and will this harm them?
A: The active ingredient in Amdro Fire Ant Bait is hydromethylnon. The insecticide is mixed with soybean oil and applied to corn cob grits. If the product is applied when ants are foraging, they will grab the slow-acting bait and feed it to their queen. When the queen dies in a few days the worker ants will die as well. There has been scant research on the effect of hydromethylnon on birds. But the information I found has good news: the oral LD50 for hydramethylnon in mallard ducks is greater than 2510 mg/kg, and in bobwhite quail is 1828 mg/kg, indicating that the compound is practically nontoxic to these species. If you don’t have too many mounds, you could cut 2 x 2 pieces of window screen and cover the mounds with it after applying the bait. Ants will easily find the bait but birds will be kept away.