In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, getting an early start with ant control programs is an important part of keeping populations in check. Field Market Development Specialist for Valent USA, Todd Burkdoll said growers and pest control advisors will want to be vigilant in their scouting. Preventing ant populations from taking hold in an orchard will help to maximize the value of the harvest.
“The biggest thing is prevention, you don’t want to let ants get literally colonized in the orchard because when you go to harvest and those nuts are on the ground, that’s a source of protein for them and they’ll go after them. Then you have damage at the huller/processor when you finally get those nuts to wherever you’re going,” said Burkdoll. “You want to take them out before you put nuts on the ground. You want to make sure your orchard’s clean and that starts now, not a week before harvest. You need to plan ahead.”
As growers and PCAs scout for fungal diseases, keeping an eye out for ants will play a critical role in preventing populations from expanding. The forecast of a three-billion-pound crop this year will make ant control even more important. A heavy crop typically means that nuts will be on the ground for longer periods, leaving them susceptible to ant damage. Putting a plan for ant management into action early will be especially important this year.
“If you see any ant activity at all, you better start putting a bait out there to knock them out,” Burkdoll explained. “You want to wipe out the entire colony before your nuts go on the ground. That’s why I highly recommend Esteem ant bait because if you put it out right now, you can effectively decimate the entire colony or colonies in the orchard by the insect growth regulating effects of Esteem. It basically causes the whole population to crash.”
Listen to the report below.