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Chambers County Extension to hold fire ant workshop

VALLEY — According to Dr. Chip East of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, fire ants are a major problem for many Alabama residents. As a result, removing them can often be more difficult than people think.

Not only does East believe people spend too much money on trying to solve their insect problem, but they also do so while approaching the issue in a fundamentally incorrect way.

“I don’t think people realize that with any insects, you kind of have to understand the biology of it or its very difficult to control,” Regional Extension Agent Dani Carroll said. “For a lot of people, it’s very difficult, but once you learn their life cycle and everything about them, you will understand why.”

In an effort to pass along this biological understanding to better help people rid their yards of the pests, the Chambers County Extension Office will be holding a fire ant management workshop at the Valley Sportsplex on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

The workshop, which will run from one to five p.m. ET, will feature Carroll from the Calhoun County office and East of the Clay County extension. The two will work directly with those attending on learning the best techniques for managing the fire ants at the biological level.

“We are going to talk about fire ant biology,” East said. “Why this home remedy does or doesn’t work, why that product should be used in this way or that way, why this one takes months to work while this one works quicker. We will talk about all management approaches.”

Carroll said that the biggest issue that people have is not knowing which products work best for their situation.

“Especially at schools and churches, they really want to get them under control because they are a big nuisance and they hurt,” she said.  “A lot of people don’t have a lot of luck just picking something off of the shelf and using it. I think that’s because they are using the wrong products at the wrong time of year, or just using the products wrong, and that’s what the workshop is about.”

Those interested in attending the workshop should register with the Extension Office at 334-864-9373