I put ortho fire ant mound killer in my garden

tamedmundsMarch 14, 2012

I discovered yesterday evening a mound of fire ants in my vegetable garden, without thinking I threw some ortho fire ant mound killer granules on the nest, I went out this morning to water and there are plenty of dead ones and some dying ones, I THEN thought that this may not of been the best thing to use. This is my first real garden and I'm sure I will make mistakes and learn along the way. My questions is will my thoughtfulness kill my plants or worse poison them? Is there anything I can do at this point to correct it if this was the wrong thing to do? Please help!!

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

First, check the label and see if it is rated as 'Safe to Use Around Food Crops'. It should be indicated.

Second, is this only in one spot in the garden? How big an area? No reason you can't use the rest of the garden.

Third, flush the area out well with water and/or mix in some fresh compost and soil into the area.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 2:33PM
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Wait at least 2 weeks before harvesting/eating anything.

It's got a moderate residual toxicity.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 4:11PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

What is the active ingredient? If I am not mistaken, Ortho makes one with Acephate and another with Spinosad. If you've used the one with acephate, you will not be able to harvest vegetables at all. Acephate is a systemic insecticide and will be translocated throughout the plant in a short period of time. That product is labeled strictly for lawns and ornamental beds.

Spinosad, however, is labeled for vegetable garden use.

So, which do you have?

If it's the one with acephate, I'd not drench it with water, unless you are told to by the Ortho people when you call the toll free number on the label. At the very least, you should cover any remaining granules with some soil so that the birds aren't tempted to eat it.

Pesticide labels need to be read with care and followed even more carefully. Hopefully, you've purchased with organic product with Spinosad and not the toxic cholinesterase inhibitor!

Here is a link that might be useful: Acephate information

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 12:43AM
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There is never one fire ant mound. There will be more if you are range of a "lens" or network of mounds. Get some spinosad-based bait and a tea kettle. When you see mounds not near plants, douse them with boiling water. Treat other new mounds with the spinosad product. Check you property every few days and stay on top of it. Can be done!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 7:53AM
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