Citrus Oil & Fire Ants
|Shelton, Thomas - UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII|
|Merchant, Mike - TEXAS A&M RES & EXT CTR|
|Russell, Scott - TEXAS AG EXT SERVICE|
|Tanley, Marla - AUBURN UNIVERSITY|
|Appel, Arthur - AUBURN UNIVERSITY|
Submitted t Journal Of Agricultural And Urban Entomology
Publication Acceptance Date: October 22, 2002
Publication Date: July 1, 2003
Interpretive Summary: Experiments were conducted to determine efficacy of raw citrus peel extract, a commercial citrus oil product, and a homemade recipe for fire ant control. The homemade recipe (equal parts citrus peel extract, compost tea, and cattlemen's molasses mixed with water at 6 oz per gallon), raw citrus peel extract premixed with water, and diazinon formulations performed similarly, though diazinon yielded slightly faster control. Results indicate that viable "organic" alternatives are available for use as mound drenches against imported fire ants.
Technical Abstract: Experiments were conducted in Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas to assess efficacy of raw citrus peel extract (orange oil) (Erath Earth Orange Oil, Erath Earth Holding Company, Erath, TX). A homemade recipe containing orange oil [equal parts orange oil, cattlemen's molasses, and compost tea at 47 ml L-1 water (6 oz gal- 1)], orange oil premixed with water to form an emulsion, and the commercial product all resulted in 80% or greater control when applied in 3.8 L (1 gal) water as a mound drench. In most trials, the level of activity in mounds receiving citrus oil alternatives was statistically comparable to conventional diazinon formulations. Citrus oil alone presented mixing problems prior to application; some possible solutions are discussed. Citrus oil formulations and commercial products appear to be viable alternatives for people who do not wish to apply conventional insecticides against S. invicta.
Fire Ant Control Program
It’s important to understand that first the fire ant issue is a man-made problem.
Fire Ant Drench Formula
Homemade Fire Ant Mound Drench - mix one part compost tea, one part molasses, and one part citrus oil concentrate. Mix at 4-6 ounces per gallon of water for treating fire ant mounds.