MU Informs Missouri Farmers on how to Avoid RIFA

5 years 3 months 1 week ago Thursday, September 06 2012 Sep 6, 2012 Thursday, September 06, 2012 2:20:00 PM CDT September 06, 2012 in News
By: Cody Lee Heyveld

COLUMBIA — Farmers who are affected by drought and are forced to buy hay from out of state can take steps to avoid introducing red imported fire ants to their farms.

The red imported fire ant (RIFA) is an insect found in much of the southern U.S., according to a press release from MU Cooperative Media Group. In Texas alone, its estimated economic impact totals more than a billion dollars annually.

RIFA can spread to new locations by hiding in bales of hay, nursery stock and other products that contain or have been in contact with soil, said Richard Houseman, University of Missouri Extension state entomologist and associate professor at the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

"The threat of red imported fire ants becoming established in Missouri is a serious risk that would have long-term economic and ecological impacts on both rural and urban populations," Houseman said.

The ants can cause damage to livestock, crops, farm equipment and even bridges and roads. They respond aggressively when threatened, biting and repeatedly stinging victims with painful alkaloid venom.

Houseman suggests farmers to follow some important guidelines:

  • If you have to buy your hay from RIFA-infested areas, make sure it has been certified RIFA-free by either the USDA or an appropriate regulatory official in the state of origin.
  • Visually inspect hay on arrival, even if it has been certified, Houseman said. To draw out any ants that may be lurking within, place some attractive food on each bale, such as a dab of peanut butter, a piece of hot dog or a scrap of cardboard soaked in peanut oil. That should attract RIFAs within the hour.
  • "If you find ants in a shipment of hay, collect several specimens and place them in alcohol," he said. Once you have specimens, immediately notify your local MU Extension center, the Missouri Department of Agriculture or USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
  • Don't store baled hay directly on the ground. Raise bales several inches by placing them on pallets or old tires. This will discourage ants from migrating into or out of the nearby soil.


Eliminating RIFA colonies is a two-step process, Houseman said.

  1. Apply bait specifically formulated for RIFA to the area surrounding the colony. RIFA baits, which usually consist of processed corn grits coated with soybean oil that contains insecticide, can be applied around colonies using a broadcast spreader. Farmers might need to order bait online or travel to an area with established RIFA populations. 

    Houseman notes that not all RIFA baits are registered for use in Missouri. Those that are include Extinguish, Extinguish Plus, Esteem and Amdro Pro.
     
     
  2. The second step is to apply a contact insecticide directly to the colony, he said. This should eliminate the main portion of the colony within a few hours. Contact insecticides include acephate, carbaryl, pyrethrins and prryethroids and are available over the counter under various brand names.

Houseman cautions there are no herbicides labeled for direct application to hay. He recommends eliminating populations in bales by placing 1/3 cup of bait next to infested bales.

Click here for additional information about identifying and controlling fire ants.

APHIS has also released a two-page advisory for producers, sellers and buyers of baled hay:

Baled Hay Industry Alert

More News

Grid
List
HOLTS SUMMIT - Holts Summit's board of aldermen met Thursday night to discuss creating a city-owned shelter. Currently, the... More >>
33 minutes ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:07:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
SEDALIA — The former administrator of an ambulance service in central Missouri has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than... More >>
48 minutes ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 2:52:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police said a 42-year-old woman went missing Friday morning and is considered at risk because of medical conditions.... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 2:11:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Some HIV-positive patients in nearly half the counties in Missouri will lose health insurance coverage next... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 1:02:12 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 37-year-old man is charged in the shooting of two suburban St. Louis police officers who... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 12:28:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
MONTGOMERY CITY - The Montgomery County Coroner's office is investigating how a person died after a house fire Thursday afternoon... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 12:15:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
PERRYVILLE (AP) — A dog who was the subject of a two-year court battle and a faked death is back... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 10:40:00 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The search for a new St. Louis police chief is down to six finalists — three... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 10:34:09 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
GIRARD, Kan. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of a man whose body was found under a rural southeast... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 9:43:00 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A homeless man who told police he dismembered his wife in a Missouri hotel room then... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 9:40:00 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The trial date for a man charged in connection with a 2002 rape case has been set for... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:33:00 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A Missouri basketball player and a former Mizzou student have teamed up to start a nonprofit aimed at... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:15:00 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce is advocating for a full functioning Hyperloop to come to Missouri. After... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 3:32:00 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – More than 2,300 students will receive degrees from The University of Missouri this weekend, which means heavy traffic... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 2:20:00 AM CST December 15, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Kevin Roy scored twice and John Gibson made 29 saves as the Anaheim Ducks defeated the... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 10:20:39 PM CST December 14, 2017 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Iron Tiger Tattoo parlor in downtown Columbia mops its floors nearly three times a day. It didn’t use... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 9:56:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in Target 8
CAMDENTON - The Missouri Department of Natural Resources recommended an old manufacturer in Camdenton as a Superfund site. Money... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 8:30:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
VERSAILLES - Prosecutors filed charges against three employees of the Morgan County Jail on Monday, including a nurse accused of... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 7:50:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 43°
4pm 44°
5pm 42°
6pm 39°
7pm 38°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
4:30p
Jeopardy!
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
The Goldbergs
4:30p
The Goldbergs

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Blindspot
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
The 86th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld