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Fire Ant Control In Commercial Sod and Nursery Stock

Steve Hughes lays down sod near one of Mississippi State University’s new residence halls.
Steve Hughes lays down sod near one of Mississippi State University’s new residence halls.

Although fire ants infest most of the southeastern United States (See Imported Fire Ant Quarantine Map), there are many states, or parts of states, where they do not yet occur. Fire ants could easily be transported to these areas by movement of infested soil. Such accidental transport could occur through movement of sod or nursery stock containing established colonies of fire ants or individual newly mated queens.

The United States Department of Agriculture maintains a quarantine against unregulated transport of soil or soil-containing items, including sod and nursery stock, from fire ant infested areas to uninfested areas. Sod and nursery stock shipped out of the quarantined area must have an appropriate inspection certificate and be treated according to USDA guidelines. Nurserymen and sod producers who plan to ship products outside the fire ant quarantine area need to be aware of the requirements that must be met and make arrangements for appropriate treatments and inspections well before the anticipated shipment date. Contact the Mississippi Department of Agriculture for specific details. See USDA APHIS Publication 81-25-001, Imported Fire Ant Quarantine Treatments for Nursery Stock, Grass Sod, and Related Materials for specific products and treatment protocols required for treating sod and nursery stock that will be shipped to areas outside the imported fire ant quarantine zone.


Contact information for Dr. Blake Layton.

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A person holds a canister of dry powder pesticide and a measuring spoon of powder over a fire ant mound.
Filed Under: Fire Ants, Insects-Home Lawns, Insects-Pests, Turfgrass and Lawn Management September 11, 2018

Even if you preventatively treat your yard periodically through the year for fire ants, you’ll still see mounds pop up.

There are two ways to treat these mounds: liquid drenches and dry powders. (File photo by MSU Extension Service.)

A close-up of gloved hands pouring a liquid drench pesticide into a measuring cup.
Filed Under: Fire Ants, Insects-Home Lawns, Insects-Pests, Turfgrass and Lawn Management August 28, 2018

Fire ant mounds always pop up right where you don’t need them – in the flower bed you planned to weed tomorrow, next to the mailbox that needs to be reset, and near the patio where you are throwing a party tonight. (Photo by Brian Utley/Cindy Callahan)

A close-up of a fire ant mound.
Filed Under: Commercial Horticulture, Livestock, Pets, Fire Ants, Insects-Home Lawns, Insects-Pests, Turfgrass and Lawn Management, Vegetable Gardens August 10, 2018

Fire ants are everywhere. If you’ve thrown your hands up in exasperation trying to deal with them, don’t give up just yet. (File photo by MSU Extension Service)

A paper wasp on a multi-cell nest.
Filed Under: Insects-Crop Pests, Insects-Forage Pests, Fire Ants, Household Insects, Insect Identification, Termites, Insects-Home Lawns, Insects-Pests July 31, 2018

Mississippi has an abundance of bugs, especially in the warmer months. We are all familiar with mosquitoes, bumblebees, and house flies. But I bet there are bugs around your house and yard that you can’t identify. (Photo by Blake Layton)

Invasive fire ants crawl over a mound of soil. (File photo by MSU Extension/Kat Lawrence)
Filed Under: Fire Ants November 8, 2017

Just when we think we’ve conquered our tiny foes, it rains, and fresh fire ant mounds pop up in our yard.

Like many tasks around the house, fighting fire ants feels like a constant battle. My husband and I finally started seeing some progress when we followed recommendations from MSU Extension’s expert, Dr. Blake Layton. (Yeah, that’s a side benefit of my job, learning all kinds of practical information!)

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Fire Ant Control - MSU Extension Service
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Fire Ant Control

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 1:45pm

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Entomology; extension insect identification; fire ants; termites; insect pests in the home, lawn and