Bayer Sponsors Fire Ant Free Schools Program

Bayer Environmental Science recently announced the launch of their Fire Ant Free Schools Program, which offers qualified public and private schools a non-profit rate of 50 percent off all purchases of TopChoice, the company’s revolutionary fire ant prevention technology, until August 31. TopChoice, a granular insecticide spread over turf like fertilizer, both cures and prevents fire ants for one year with a single, professional application.

“At Bayer, we believe that the best way to treat fire ants is to prevent them in the first place. Realizing that budget are tight, we are offering a non-profit rate to ensure that more schools can treat more acres, which can help protect millions of children from the threat of fire ants stings,” says Bryan Gooch, business manager, insecticides, Bayer Environmental Science. “We hope all schools battling fire ants will apply TopChoice to become fire ant free zones.”

TopChoice is a low-dose, non-bait granular insecticide that requires just one annual application by a licensed professional. It provides unsurpassed control of fire ants for one year, eliminating existing mounds and preventing new mounds from forming.

TopChoice takes advantage of the natural behavior of fire ants. “Within the first four to six weeks of a TopChoice application, ants unknowingly come in contact with the product and bring it back to contaminate and eliminate the rest of the mound in what is known as the Domino Effect,” explains Gooch. “Unlike temporary fixes like baits, the Domino Effect means the entire any colony is destroyed, not just surface ants. The product remains in the soil to prevent new colonies from forming.”

Fire ants, which currently infest more than 325 million acres across the southern U.S., pose a serious and growing public health threat – injuring more than 20 million people each year with their stings. This number will continue to grow as fire ants move northward and westward.

A full-blown colony of fire ants can number up to 500,000 members. When disturbed, hundreds, sometimes thousands of ants, will attack an intruder, inflicting painful stings that, in the most severe cases, can be life threatening. Studies show that 10 to 15 percent of those stung by fire ants experience severe localized allergic reactions, with one to two percent experiencing dangerous systemic reactions that, in rare cases, result in death.

Fire ants currently infest Arkansas, Alabama, California, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas (and Puerto Rico). They are moving northward and westward into Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri and Virginia.

For more information about TopChoice or to download a Fire Ant Free School Program voucher, visit www.nofireants.comwhere you can also find a TopChoice-certified professional in your area. (See TopChoice Goes to School in the TopChoice in the News section.) Or, call Bayer Product Support at 800-331-2867 for more information.

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