Ag Industry, Farming, Pests

Fire ant insecticide developed

Sundew Professional Solutions has developed an insecticide spray to help tackle Australia’s fire ant problem – damaging crops and livestock

ANTagonistPRO polymer insecticide spray will be able to help farmers, horticulturalists and landholders fearing damage to crops and livestock caused by red fire ants.

Fire ants have the capability to cost the Australian economy billions of dollars per year if left unchecked here, according to the National Fire Ant Eradication Program.

Australia’s Invasive Species Council says that if left unchecked, the pest could form colonies in 95 per cent of mainland Australia and most of Tasmania.

Sundew’s insecticide spray can also be used where fire ants are already present.

“Prevention and treatment are especially important at this time of the year, as autumn approaches, when the highly invasive and mobile ants become more active while the soil is warm and the days are milder,” Sundew CEO David Priddy says.

“These aggressive ants are the ultimate hitchhiker – they will move around on vehicles and even floodwaters.”

Sundew says ANTagonistPRO is Australia’s only approved spray treatment that can be applied rapidly over large surface areas by tractors, utes, quad bikes, and other farm vehicles equipped with boom sprays.

Using spray applications will target large areas quicker, at cheaper cost and be more effective than other methods, Priddy says.

ANTagonistPRO is complemented by Sundew’s SAS PRO rapid response direct nest treatment to kill individual nests.

Sundew says its new spray is also weatherproof, doesn’t need to be reapplied once dry and will last up to six months on treated surfaces.

Sundew says its spray is the only red imported fire ant (RIFA)-approved concentrate product for applying to vehicles, earthmoving equipment, recreational vehicles, shipping containers, contractor and transport vehicles, as well as agricultural equipment – reducing the risk that RIFA can be moved from property to property.

“This treatment can be applied to large areas to massively reduce time, costs, and physical effort required compared with the slower baiting and spearing methods originally approved by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

“We believe this method is a big step forward in countering what may well become a national issue if left unchecked. We have already got the runs on the board from working with professional pest controllers. We believe the message needs to be heard more widely and sooner rather than later.”

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