Well, it was a little blustery, but the test went on. We created 16 1/4 acre plots over the 20 acres or so of the owner's property. On those, we marked and counted the active fire ant mounds. Then, we treated the plots with Conserve fire ant bait. Some of the plots were treated on a mound by mound application, some at 3 lbs per acre and the most heavily infested at 5 lbs per acre rates.
Those ants were sure hungry as they began picking up bait almost as fast as we scattered it! It is an oily protein coating and that is what they like best - and you thought it was your hand, foot, arm, etc.. they liked best!
We'll go back and check the status of things a time or two before the cold weather sets in but the real results will be to see how much of a reduction is present next spring when they become active again.
The recomendation is to treat about 3 times a year. Fall, Spring and early summer. Kind of like an organic fertilizer schedule. Depending on the rate used, you are talking about anywhere from about $21 - $42 an acre. So, a small say 20 acre farm can be treated for less than $2000 a year using a median cost/acre of $30.
The product also comes in homeowner sizes of 3# and a 1# cannister. Same product, different label. I like this product because your pyramid ants won't pick it up. So you are controlling fire ants without decreasing native ant populations. That is a plus.
And the cool part is, OMRI has approved it for use on production and livestock pastures. Heck, even my chickens like it.
I'll keep posting updates and be happy to field any questions ya'll might have. Also, any experience you may have run across using this product. Fire ants are one of our worst pests. I'm very excited to have a tool to control them with that is safe and effective.