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What problems do fire ants pose?
In addition to the dangers of being stung, for some strange reason, fire ants are drawn to, and will nest inside of, electrical equipment and utility housings, such as “Telco” pedestals. Not only can this present a problem for personnel working at these sites, but the nests themselves and the activities of the colony can sometimes result in short circuits and/or service outages. The soil they move into the structure can also cause corrosion and other mechanical problems.

Control Methods
It has been suggested that using very hot water is sometimes effective for individual mounds. Approximately 3 gallons of very hot water poured onto a mound will eliminate ants about 60 percent of the time. They say that you should drench mounds on cool, sunny mornings, when the ants are close to the surface. However, you risk damaging plants, grass, and even burning yourself. Additionally, getting hot water to a remote mound in the field presents logistical problems.

U-TECK now has two fire ant deterrents, which are not labor intensive and have been shown to be quite effective.

The U-TECK line of PED MAT products has been widely used around pedestals and RTSs to control weeds without the need for herbicides or repeated visits with a weed eater or mower. PED MATs” primary purpose is to increase pedestal visibility to help personnel quickly and safely access their work area in the field.

An added value has been the effect that PED MATs have had on the fire ant community. Quite simply, they just don’t seem to want to make a home on a PED MAT. Fire ant hills are kept away from the immediate area of the pedestal, and this deters the ants from creating a dangerous environment for pedestal workers.

Will PED MATS stop fire ants from nesting inside the pedestal or RTS?
Probably not, as they still have this unexplained attraction to electricity. While you may not be standing in a fire ant hill while on an installed PED MAT, chances are they have found their way inside your pedestal or other electrical structure. What to do?

U-TECK has sourced another tool in your arsenal against fire ants: JS-685 ®.

What is JS-685 ® ?
JS-685 ® is a residual insecticide that will not only kill existing fire ants but also provide a protective barrier that will last up to 7 months with proper use. It is nonconductive up to 15,320 volts.

JS-685 ® contains synergized pyrethrins and silica gel and can effectively control not only fire ants but also fleas, roaches, crickets and silverfish.

One application in spring and another in fall can give a full year of protection and is recommended by university entomology departments across the United States .

Not just for pedestals
Air conditioners, traffic boxes and other devices can also be damaged by fire ants and their nests. The ants move soil into these structures as well and chew on insulation and other soft materials. With proper use, JS-685 ® can safely protect these areas without damaging circuitry, wiring or insulation.

Fire Ants vs. People: The fight goes on
Red imported fire ants cannot be eradicated completely with all of the pesticide methods available today. But with proper control methods, they can be eliminated temporarily from small areas. Their biology and spread make it economically, technically and ecologically impossible to eradicate them from larger areas with pesticides alone.

U-TECK continues to give you the tools you need in the field so you can focus on getting the job done. Please call our customer service line toll free at 1-800-542-7011 and find out how WE can help YOU.

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