Sunday, January 10, 2010

Will club soda control fire ants?

I recently received this through an email list I am on and thought this would be good to pass on. This is from our working group on fire ant control.

The use of club soda as an ant mound drench likely will disappoint the user, because the chances of its working are slim to none. This so-called home-remedy was recently tested and found not to be effective. For a thorough discussion of the idea of club soda as a home remedy and how it has been debunked, view the following post from the blog Insects in the City: Club soda for your ants, Sir?

It is interesting how many different fire ant "cures" have been suggested. Many, but not all, of these have been scientifically tested in replicated university trials. The club soda home remedy, like many others, is attractive because it is environmentally sound and uses a readily available product. It has a basis in fact, because carbon dioxide in high concentrations is known to be lethal to many organisms. However, the quantity of carbon dioxide generated from a club soda drench would not be sufficient to replace the air in a colony that may extend 12 feet underground. The club soda drench might make the colony move since the fire ants do not like being disturbed. Also, the amount of club soda needed to kill any ants may be expensive! Find more information about home remedies at FAQ 1107, "Do any of the home remedies for eliminating imported fire ants work?" The eXtension fire ant resource area has information about safe and effective methods of fire ant control, including the Fire Ant Control Made Easy Video and the Managing Imported Fire Ants in Urban Areas Learning Lesson. You may want to try the Customized Fire Ant Management Decision Tool, which will help you develop your own fire ant management plan.

If you are curious about how much carbon dioxide occurs in club soda or any other carbonated drink, see Carbonation.

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