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Bait back...

May 5, 2021
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Taylor Aguilera, Certis Biologicals Regional Manager Northern California

We all know that consumers are waiting on you to harvest nut crops so they can enjoy the spoils of your labor, right? All the hard work you’ll put in this year will pay off when you realize your crops are out there in groceries and kitchens across the world.

We all know that consumers are waiting on you to harvest nut crops so they can enjoy the spoils of your labor, right? All the hard work you’ll put in this year will pay off when you realize your crops are out there in groceries and kitchens across the world.

The problem is, nut-lovers aren’t the only ones eagerly anticipating harvest. Right now, ants are colonizing and building up population in your orchards, getting ready to wreak havoc on nuts as soon as they hit the ground. Ants can do significant damage because they feed on nut meat, leaving you with only shells of the nut and a shell of your profit margins. 

It’s time for you to start making sure that you have effective control of these pests so you can harvest with peace of mind. First, you need to identify where they are building on your orchard floors. Start looking for ants that are traveling along the drip line in your orchard or mounding up in your drive row.

If you see ants in either of these places, I recommend that you take immediate action with an application of Seduce®, Certis’ spinosad bait that attracts and kills ants, earwigs and cutworms. There are many things to love about Seduce. First, it’s made up of highly-compressed granules that are easy to apply because they require no mixing or spraying, which is a huge asset when you are in the middle of a busy season. Remember during application, though, it is best to have plenty of water. Seduce, unlike other ant baits, performs very well under wet conditions where other oil-based baits can mold or rot and become ineffective. Because of this, you do not need to interrupt your crucial irrigation schedule to apply Seduce.

Seduce is approved for use in organic production and is OMRI-listed, so it provides the flexibility you need whether you are growing organic, conventional or both.

All of these advantages line up to deliver an overall benefit--Seduce works. In one trial we did to study Seduce’s efficacy on the argentine ant (Linepithema humile), the study showed a nearly 30 percent mortality of argentine ants just a couple of hours after its application. Mortality rates for ants increased steadily until they reached 100 percent mortality only 4 days after application. In another study done here in California, scientists counted the mean number of argentine ants at their bait station and found after one day Seduce® had reduced the number of ants to 1 ant per bait station compared to the 15 ants per bait station found in the untreated site.

If you think it can’t get better than that, you’d be wrong, because Seduce can be effective in controlling these ant populations for up to four weeks. Not only does it work fast, but the control lasts too. 

Harvest will be here before we know it, and it’s important to note how flexible Seduce is during that critical time. It is residue-exempt, has an REI of only 4 hours and a 1-day pre-harvest interval – offering in field and marketing flexibility to growers.

Another way to fight ants during harvest is to remove nuts quickly from the floor. The amount of damage that ants can do to your crops grows exponentially the longer the nuts sit on the ground unguarded.

If the Certis Biologicals  team or I can provide you with any guidance in how Seduce can be a powerful tool against ants in your orchards, please reach out to us at asktheexpert@certisusa.com

Seduce is a proven way for you to bait back against these pests before they can do damage to your crops and your bottom line.

This series is part of a partnership with Tree Nut Farm Press. You can read the original here.

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