Spotting an active gardener is easy – just check for dirt under their fingernails. Small, red sores on the hands above those dirty nails mean that gardener has braved the pain and misery of fire ant bites to remove encroaching weeds from their around cherished flowers and vegetables. The red imported fire ant was introduced through the port of Mobile, Alabama, from South America in the 1930s. The stinging pest now infests more than 325 million acres from California throughout the southern U.S. and Puerto Rico. Early eradication efforts failed due to the ant’s biology and ability to rapidly reproduce. Imported fire ants disturb native habitats and home landscapes and have created an enormous impact on the U.S. economy. In fact, fire ants are estimated to have a $1.2 billion impact on the state of Texas alone.Fall is the best time to control fire ants, so start next year’s battle plan now. Fire ant colonies have been growing all summer and will have reached their peak size by the end of September. It is best to attack these colonies before cooler weather sends them deep into the ground.For fall treatment, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension experts recommend using a fire ant bait product. Worker ants pick up the bait and transport it back to the colony. Because the active ingredient is relatively slow to act, there is time for the material to be fed to the queen. Baits are also effective at controlling mounds that are not large enough to be seen. When using fire ant baits follow these steps:• Do not disturb the mounds or apply baits directly to the mounds.• Use a broadcast spreader and apply bait over the entire lawn.• Treat the lawn in the late afternoon when temperatures are between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.• Treat when no rain is predicted for 24 hours.• Once a bag of bait has been opened, try to use the entire product within a few days. The oil carrier can degrade over time, and the ants may not take it if the product sits out.• Follow the label on the product – it’s the law!There are a number of home remedy treatments for controlling fire ants, but it should be noted that they rarely eliminate colonies. Some of the remedies are simply old wives’ tales. Boiling water poured on an active mound can be effective, but only if enough water is poured onto the mound to fully kill all ants. This method is time intensive and potentially dangerous to the individual carrying the boiling water. Boiling or hot water can also kill or damage nearby plants, turf and non-target soil organisms. Ants are rumored to explode after eating grits due to the expansion of the dry starches. The truth is that only larval-stage ants digest solid foods; workers only feed on liquids or greasy materials.For more information on controlling fire ants, see the UGA Extension publication “Managing Imported Fire Ants in Urban Areas” at extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.cfm?number=B1191.
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RBA deputy governor Guy Debelle says house prices could be impacted by tighter lending standards. Image: AAP/Morgan Sette.RESERVE Bank of Australia deputy governor Guy Debelle has warned of the risks to house prices if lending standards are tightened further as a result of the banking royal commission.In a speech in Sydney, Dr Debelle said tighter lending restrictions might have a bigger effect on the amount of funds an individual household could borrow, rather than the number of households that were eligible for a loan.“This, in turn, means that credit growth may be slower than otherwise for a time,” he said.“To me, that has more of an implication for house prices, than it does for the outlook for consumption.”GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERERBA deputy governor Guy Debelle says house prices could be impacted by tighter lending standards.When it comes to interest rates, the RBA looks set to stay on the sidelines for the foreseeable future, with Dr Debelle stressing that the official cash rate was likely to remain steady this year and into next.“If the economy continues to evolve as expected, higher interest rates are likely to be appropriate at some point,” he said.“Notwithstanding this, the board does not currently see a strong case for a near-term adjustment in the cash rate.”Despite the solid outlook, Dr Debelle focused on risks, such as US-triggered inflation that would drive up global interest rates and push the Australian dollar down. FLOOD SUBURBS NOW BEATING REST OF BRISBANERBA deputy governor Guy Debelle says tighter lending standards could impact house prices. Photo: Penny Stephens.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus19 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market19 hours agoDr Debelle highlighted the risk posed by Australia’s high levels of household debt, saying it could weigh on consumer spending if borrowing costs were to rise suddenly.“Household income growth has been subdued for a number of years, which means that a number of households may be carrying a larger mortgage for longer than they expected when they took out the loan,” he said.“While they can service the mortgage, it has consumed a larger share of their income for longer than they might have intended.”HOMELESSNESS A ‘NATIONAL DISGRACE’The RBA is expected to leave interest rates on hold for longer than first thought. Image: AAP/Dean Lewins.Commenting on the recent regulatory pressure on banks to tighten lending rules, Dr Debelle downplayed the likely impact of resets to interest-only loans to more traditional principaland interest loans.“These can see the required mortgage payments rise by nearly 30-40 per cent for some borrowers,” he said.“Our assessment is that there are quite a few mitigants which will allow these borrowers to cope with this increase in required payments, including the prevalence of offset accountsand the ability to refinance to a principal and interest loan with a lower interest rate.“While some borrowers will clearly struggle with this, our expectation is that most will be able to handle the adjustment so that the overall effect on the economy should be small.”The RBA has kept the cash rate unchanged at a record-low 1.5 per cent since 2016.
A woman was arrested for leaving a $5,000 tip at a Clearwater restaurant on her boyfriend’s credit card following an argument.Serina Wolfe, 24, was reportedly displeased with her boyfriend Michael Crane after he refused to buy her a plane ticket back home to New York, and a waitress of the Clear Sky Cafe reaped the benefits.Police say Crane put a hold on his credit card, but when he removed it, Wolfe made a $5,055.37 purchase at the Clear Sky Cafe.The cafe was notified about the fraudulent purchase but said the waitress had already been paid for the amount of the tip.Wolfe was arrested Monday on a $1,000 bond.As of July 3, she remains behind bars and is awaiting trial.
Goalkeeper Stephen Adams has earned a place in the Black Stars for Ghana’s friendly against Montenegro next month. The Aduana Stars goalkeeper has been included in the squad announced by coach Kwesi Appiah on Monday for the friendly with the Brave Falcons on 5 March. Rennes defender John Boye returns to the squad after missing out with an injury. The match against Montenegro forms part of the Black Stars preparation for the World Cup in June. The game will be played at the Stadium Pod Goricum in Podgorica.The match will kick-off at 1800 local time.Ghana squad: Goalkeepers: Adam Kwarasey (Stromgodset, Norway), Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars) Defenders: Harrison Afful (Esperance, Tunisia), Samuel Inkoom (Platanias, Greece), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege, Belgium), David Addy (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal), Jerry Akaminko (Eskisehirspor, Turkey), John Boye (Rennes, France), Jonathan Mensah (Evian, France) Midfielders: Michael Essien (AC Milan, Italy), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan, Italy), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus, Italy), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke, Germany), Emmanuel Agyemang Badu (Udinese, Italy), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough, England), Mubarak Wakaso (Rubin Kazan, Russia), Christian Atsu (Vitesse Arnhem, Holland), Andre Ayew (Marseille, France) Strikers: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain, UAE), Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes, Italy), Jordan Ayew (Marseille, France)