Extension office offers fire ant workshop

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tis the season for fire ants.

When it comes to insect pests, fire ants probably top everyone’s list, said Grant Lyons, Pike County Extension coordinator.

So, the Pike County Extension office is inviting all of those who have to deal with these insect pests to attend the Fire Ant Management Workshop from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday, May 4 at Cattleman Park.

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“This is a free workshop that will cover topics including fire ant biology, baits versus insecticides, recommended control practices and hands-on spreader calibration for home, public areas, pastures and hay fields,” Lyons said. “The Extension office receives many phone calls and emails about how to control fire ants.

“This workshop will address those issues while also giving the public an opportunity to visit with Kathy Flanders, an Extension entomologist who has excellent information and knowledge on fire ants.”

Lyons said red and black imported fire ants are invasive species and their painful bites can injure or kill livestock, wildlife, domestic animals and humans.

“These fire ants create large mounds that often damage mowers and other equipment,” he said. “Fire ants can also infest buildings where they may damage electrical equipment by chewing on wire insulation.”

The Fire Ant Management Workshop is designed for everyone from homeowners to farmers, Lyons said.

To register for the workshop, call the Pike County Extension office at 566-0985. There is no fee for the workshop and lunch will be provided.

For more information on the workshop, contact Lyons at the Extension office.