Bayer Offers Fire Ant Free Schools Program

Bayer Environmental Science has announced the beginning of its Fire Ant Free Schools Program for 2005, which offers qualified public and private schools a non-profit rate of 50 percent off all purchases of TopChoice, the company’s fire ant prevention technology. The 2005 discounted rate is available to schools March 1 through October 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 budgets are tight, we are once again offering a non-profit rate so more schools can treat more acres, which can help protect children from the threat of fire ants stings,” says Bryan Gooch, business manager, insecticides, Bayer Environmental Science. “This program was such a success in 2004, we have decided to expand it in 2005. We hope that this year even more schools will take advantage of this opportunity to become fire ant free zones.”

The active ingredient in TopChoice is one of the most widely used insecticides in the world. It contains the same active ingredient used to control fleas and ticks on millions of pets.

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 where you can also find a TopChoice-certified professional in your area. (See TopChoice Schools Program under Testimonials.) Or, call Bayer Product Support at 800-331-2867 for more information.

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