Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) has been found Orange County and the City of Cypress. RIFA is a serious public health pest that will impact property values and affect how you use and enjoy your property.

What can you do:

If you think you have RIFA, call 1 800 491-1899 to have a sample taken and identified by State of California Department of Food and Agriculture personnel. There is no fee for this service and a representative can usually respond within 2-3 days.

Once RIFA has been confirmed:

Look in the yellow pages under "nurseries" and call them to see if they have an insecticide for red imported fire ant that contains one of the following active ingredients:

· Abamectin
· Hydramethylnon
· Pyriproxyfen
· Fenoxycarb

In order for the treatment to be effective it is critical to eliminate the queen. These products accomplish this goal but take time to affect the reproduction cycle of the colony. Please be patient and follow the label directions exactly.

· The treatment must be made on a bright, sunny day (between 65 and 90 degrees).
· Do not water for at least 24 hours after treatment.
· Repeat the treatment three times at intervals of three months.
· Be sure to read and follow the label directions.

OR

Hire a pest control company and insist that they use a product containing one of the ingredients above, following the same guidelines.

To be completely effective all infested properties in a neighborhood should be treated. It is important to encourage and coordinate treatment activities with your neighbors.

For more information on RIFA visit the California Department of Food and Agriculture web site at http://cdfa.ca.gov. You may acquire local fire ant information by visiting the the Orange County Vector Control District website at www.ocvcd.org.