Fire Ant Control in Commercial 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.
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)
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)
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!)
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.
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.