Horse and cattle

Fire ant baits are considered safe for humans and most animals. The bait used to treat fire ants is specifically targeted to kill ants.

horses and cows in a paddock grazing

The bait used to treat fire ants is not harmful to horses or cattle. It is specifically targeted to kill ants.

Fire ants pose a far greater risk to horses and cattle because their aggressive nature means they will sting repeatedly.

The presence of nests can create difficulties for animals accessing food and water sources.

We use 2 types of bait in our fight to eradicate fire ants.

Insect growth regulator (IGR) baits

Insect growth regulator (IGR) bait products used to treat fire ants in Australia have very low toxicity for mammals. It is biologically impossible for horses or cattle to consume enough bait to cause any ill effect on their health.

When the bait is spread across a property, the granules —which are 1–3mm in size, settle deep in the grass. It is highly unlikely that horses or cattle would be able to locate enough bait after a treatment to cause them harm.

Fast-acting insecticide

This bait contains either indoxacarb or a combination of hydramethylnon and pyriproxyfen.

About 85g of bait is used in each treatment, consisting of 0.045% of insecticide (less than 1g), so a minimal quantity of the active ingredient is distributed.

Pyriproxyfen is also commonly used in veterinary products. Your pet may already be being exposed to the same active ingredient, as a direct application to their skin, or via oral administration. A significantly smaller amount of pyriproxyfen is used in fire ant bait than in these veterinary products.

The World Health Organization states (2001) that s-methoprene and pyriproxyfen are rapidly metabolised or broken down in mammals. They show no ill effects when used in pregnant or lactating horses and cattle.

Products used to treat flies and other parasites on horses and cattle are often more toxic than s-methoprene and pyriproxyfen.