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US: Ants now added to Certis' Seduce® and Bug-N-Sluggo® insect bait labels

Ants, a damaging agricultural pest, can now be controlled with the new weatherproof version of Seduce® and Bug-N-Sluggo® insect baits. The U.S. EPA and California’s DPR granted expansion of the tree and vine label sections for the products which contain spinosad, a proven material for the control of ants and other soil-dwelling insects. Spinosad, derived from a naturally occurring bacterium found in soil, is manufactured for Certis USA by W. Neudorff GMbH KG of Germany. (Neudorff has a licensing agreement with Dow Agrosciences for access to spinosad.) The new improved and more weather-resistant bait provides control of several ant species and also enhances control of cutworms and earwigs. Quick acting, Seduce and Bug-N-Sluggo knock back ant populations in less than 48 hours. Bug-N-Sluggo also contains iron phosphate for the control of snails and slugs.

Seduce and Bug-N-Sluggo baits are patented, highly compressed pellets (shorts) that are UV and rain resistant. The dry pellets, which are now a terra-cotta color, are easy to apply, unlike some sticky competitor baits that can be more troublesome to accurately apply. Seduce and Bug-N-Sluggo have 4-hour reentry intervals and on almonds can be used up to the day before harvest. They are OMRI® Listed and NOP approved, so they can be used in organic production, as well as conventional farming. These baits are an essential tool for the growers of 50,000 acres of organic trees and vines that previously had no effective ant control.

Certis USA Product Manager Dave Silva said, “This is crucial and significant technology that has been approved for ant pest control. Unlike most other baits that only target ants, Bug-N-Sluggo and Seduce also control earwigs and cutworm and Bug-N-Sluggo also decimates slugs and snails. The ability to curb multiple pests with one application means savings in costs and labor for growers and a lighter pesticide load in the environment.” Both products also offer a shorter period to harvest when compared to currently used ant baits.

Ants are currently causing problems and crop losses for growers of fruit and nut crops, such as citrus, grapes, almonds and pistachios. Ants nest in the soil surrounding crops and most feed on the “honeydew” excretions of aphids, scales and whiteflies. In the pursuit of honeydew, ants disrupt Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs by interfering with the biological control of the honeydew producers, which are also damaging agricultural pests. In citrus groves, Argentine and native gray ants fiercely fight to protect their aphid, scale and whitefly populations. Irrigation sprinklers in groves can become plugged by Argentine ants, and in many crops ants can be a nuisance to work crews. Ants feed and damage the bark of young trees. In grapes, Argentine, pavement and gray ants cause similar problems. And in almonds, where pavement ants prevail, the ants feed on nuts shaken to the ground at harvest. The economic loss can be severe as ants can inflict up to 1 percent damage per day in infested crops.

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