Sep. 8, 2023
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of Costa Rica, through the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE), authorized the temporary emergency use of agrochemicals to control the ant Nylanderia fulva.
SFE also urged producers and traders of vegetative propagation material, such as nurseries, sowing grasses, coffee beds, sugar cane seeds, and livestock feed bale production sites, to control the pest before shipping its production.
The resolution issued expanded the use of products formulated to allow them to be applied to sugar cane. These are the formulated products, all based on fipronil, which are already registered in Costa Rica: Bioquim Fipronil 20SC; Sofion 20SC or Zetanil 20SC, Tripzell 20SC, Fulminante 20SC or Picudo 20SC.
In addition to sugar cane cultivation, the plague affected coffee plantations and ornamental plants, among others, in several regions of Costa Rica. The products could be used in baits, with the support of technicians from the Liga Agrícola Industrial de la Caña de Azúcar (LAICA), for direct control of the ants' nests.
″This pest represents a high risk and also affects people living in rural areas and has an impact on wild animals,″ said the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Víctor Julio Carvajal Porras. ″For this reason, it was decided to support its fight by temporarily allowing the use of insecticides as part of the components of a bait that is prepared and placed in the nests located in sugar cane plantations,″ he explained.
The expansion of agrochemicals in sugarcane will be authorized until December this year since, according to experts, the pest populations will decrease as the rains subside.
According to experts, the ant Nylanderia fulva, popularly known as the ″crazy ant″, is an exotic and highly invasive species. The insect has a great capacity for propagation and movement and was detected in the country for the first time in 2017. Additionally, it can carry other organisms such as aphids (aphids), mites, mealybugs, and mealybugs, which can affect crops.
(Editing by Leonardo Gottems, reporter for AgroPages)
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