Up until now, coffee growers have been limited on what they can use to treat Little Fire Ants (LFA). As of June 2021, two sister ant baits products have been approved by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture for use on coffee (Coffea arabica) plants to control LFA.
Antixx Fire Ant Bait (EPA Reg. No. 67702-56) is labeled for home use, and Firefighter® Fire Ant Bait (EPA Reg. No. 67702-56-70051) is labeled for agricultural use. These granular baits contain the active ingredient spinosad, which is biologically derived from the fermentation of Saccharopolyspora spinosa, a naturally occurring soil organism. These baits are attractive and deadly to ants and is readily taken back into the nest as food for the colony. The active ingredient in the bait is distributed throughout the colony, killing the ants, including the queens. Spinosad is an organic compound, but the carrier is not certified organic; therefore, these products are not OMRI certified.
The application rate for these products are 2.5 to 5 pounds per acre. When treating for LFA, remember these three baiting basics: 1) broadcast throughout the treatment area, 2) do so on a dry day, allowing at least 4 hours of dry weather, and 3) repeat treatments every 4-6 weeks for at least a year period. When using these products on coffee, be sure to have a copy of the following Special Local Needs (SLN) label readily available: Antixx Fire Ant Bait SLN or Firefighter® Fire Ant Bait SLN . Be sure to follow all label restrictions. The label is the law.
Please contact the Hawaiʻi Ant Lab (808) 315-5656 if you have any questions.