Texas Cooperative Extension,
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

July-August 2005

Advion As A Fire Ant Control-Some Questions & Answers

by Dr. Charles L. Barr, Specialist,
Texas Cooperative Extension

Still another control for Texas fire ant colonies has undergone testing and is now available for use in home landscapes.

'Advion' contains 0.045% indoxacarb, which works by a slightly different method than commonly applied baits, and offers more of quick solution to the problem of fire ant infestation around the home landscape. Worker ants readily bring the material back to the nest, where it is consumed by members of the colony. As the ants' metabolism activates the indoxacarb, it is changed from a relatively benign substance into one that is very toxic ants, and they quickly die. Their former territories are depopulated and remain so until fresh fire ants infestations occur. 'Advion' is considered to be low in toxicity, even to aquatic life. Below, Dr. Barr answers several commonly asked questions about 'Advion'. -Editor).

Retail Version of 'Advion' (indoxacarb): Spectracide Once and Done Fire Ant Bait
Charles L. Barr, Extension Program Specialist

A recent article about 'Advion' (0.045% indoxacarb) Fire Ant Bait applied as a result demonstration in Overton has led to a flurry of similar questions regarding the product. Let me answer those and provide a little more technical information.

Question #1 - Is there a retail version of 'Advion'?
Answer: Spectracide has recently come out with 'Once and Done.' This is a 0.016% indoxacarb bait that is applied at a rate of about 20 pounds per acre, much like Amdro Yard Treatment. A simple calculation will show that htis is about five times the active ingredient per acre as 'Advion'. I have tested this formulation in development and it works as well as 'Advion' - foraging suppression within 24 hours, 90+% mound elimination within three days, close to 100% in a week. Look for this product at your favorite nursery or garden store.

Question #2 - How much does it cost?
Answer: 'Once and Done' costs about $20 per bag which treats roughly one quarter acre, so $80-90 per acre. 'Advion' costs about $20 per pound ($30 per acre), though there are new discounts for bulk purchases. In other words, about two-and-a-half times the price of other baits.

Question #3 - What is the residual?
Answer: None. It is fed on by the ants, a metabolite of indoxacarb does the work and there is no residual activity whatsoever. Not even any ants (or very few) left to fend off re-invaders. Duration of control is based solely on reinvasion pressure which is dependent on rainfall, temperature, season, carrying capacity and who knows what else. Spectracide's advertising of season-long control is a bit misleading. You get the season long control by using 'Once and Done', then treating with their other contact insecticide products.

Question #4 - 'Once and Done', 'Over N' Out, What the Heck?
Answer: Despite the confusing similarity in names ,the two products are at totally opposite ends of the fire ant control spectrum. 'Once and Done/Advion' ispure speed and is a bait. 'Over N' Out/Top Choice' (fironil) is a contact insecticide granule that takes about a month to work, but has true residual activity out to about a year. You can apply the two in sequence and I have mixed 'Advion' and 'TopChoice' in the hopper, applied immediately and gotten spectacular short and long term results. It just costs about $275/acre! We are working closely with DuPont on labelling issues as well as a pasture label.