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Fire Ant Control in Commercial Turf

Use a small hand-powered spreader to spread fire ant bait over home lawns.
Fire ants are important pests of sports turf.

Fire ants readily infest open grassy areas because they are similar to the savannas of their native lands in Brazil and Argentina. Fire ants are important pests in turfgrass wherever it occurs in the state. They thrive on golf courses, sports fields, parks, cemeteries, school grounds, and commercial and institutional landscapes, and their painful stings and unsightly mounds make them unwelcome pests in all of these situations.

Tolerance for fire ants and fire ant mounds is near zero in areas like golf greens, youth soccer fields, cemeteries, or courtyards of elder care facilities! It takes persistent, intensive effort to achieve and maintain this level of control. There are three main ways of controlling fire ants: baits, individual mound treatments, and broadcast insecticide treatments. Turf managers usually have to use a combination of two or more of these methods to achieve the high level of control needed in sensitive commercial turf situations.

See Extension Publication 1858, Insect Control in Commercial Turf, for specific recommendations. See Fire Ant Biology to learn useful background information that will help you better understand how to control fire ants.

Contact information for Dr. Blake Layton.

 

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News

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!)

Fire ant mounds are common along fence lines where they are protected from grass-cutting equipment and other traffic, such as this mound in an Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, pasture on May 11, 2015. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kevin Hudson)
Filed Under: Forages, Insects-Forage Pests, Fire Ants May 19, 2015

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Southern farmers may never win the battle against imported fire ants, but aggressive tactics can slow the pests’ invasion, reduce damage and prevent further spread across the United States.

Jane Parish is an Extension/research professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. She said cattle and hay producers have learned to live with and work around the troublesome ants since the pests arrived in the state almost a century ago.

The biggest reason people have trouble controlling fire ants is that they only treat individual fire ant mounds. Individual mound treatments can be useful situationally, but need to be supplemented with broadcast treatments that will control all fire ants in all areas. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
Filed Under: Agriculture, Insects-Crop Pests, Insects-Forage Pests, Insects, Fire Ants, Insects-Pests May 15, 2015

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- People have many misconceptions on how to eliminate fire ant mounds and prevent them from coming back, and these erroneous beliefs hinder efforts to keep the harmful pest from spreading.

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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