In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, as temperatures warm up growers will want to begin their programs for ant management. When soil temperatures begin to rise that is when ants will begin foraging for food and provides an opportunity for growers to address any ant issues.
“You want to get them before they get you basically. As they’re foraging, they’re going to be looking for food, so some type of a bait is probably the best,” said Todd Burkdoll, Field Market Development Specialist for Valent USA. “Esteem ant bait is a really good tool for using in almonds. It’s not real fast, because basically it’s an insect growth regulator…but it will take out the entire colony.”
Both broadcast applications and mound treatments can be effective in combatting ant populations. Getting an early start to management is especially important when using a slow-acting material, to effectively eliminate ant colonies before they have the opportunity to become too established. “They’ll forage it, take it back down into the colony, and feed it to the queen and feed it to the larvae and in about 10 days you’ll start seeing die-off; in two weeks pretty much complete kill of the colony,” said Burkdoll.
While its recommended that all growers scout for ants, those with orchards that have a history of troublesome ant populations will want to be particularly vigilant in their monitoring efforts. Burkdoll suggested making a prophylactic treatment in orchards in order to provide the most effective ant management.
“Going out there after harvest and putting out applications and continue scouting, that will help you the next spring to bring the population down or definitely curtail it significantly,” Burkdoll noted. “It’s actually a spring and then an early fall or late summer application is what I recommend.”
Listen to the segment below.