In Commercial Sod and Nursery Stock
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.
- Fire Ant Biology
- Mississippi Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry, Plant Pest Control Programs, Imported Fire Ants
- Imported Fire Ant Quarantine Treatments for Nursery Stock, Grass Sod, and Related Materials
Dr. Blake Layton, Extension Entomology Specialist
Department of Entomology, Mississippi State University
Phone: (662) 325-2085
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.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Fire ants can be more than unwelcome guests in the home lawn; their stings can be dangerous for children and pets who share play areas with the pests.
Fire ant stings are characterized by sharp localized pain, swelling and intense itchiness that is just a short-lived nuisance for most. A raised red bump appears soon after the sting and soon turns into a sterile pustule that resembles a pimple. However, the ants’ venom can cause severe allergic reactions in some people and pets.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Tell Mississippians that fire ants have completely invaded the state, and they’ll probably shrug and say they already know that. Tell them the pain actually comes from a sting rather than a bite, and they’ll say it still hurts. But tell them how to get rid of the nasty critters, and they’re all ears.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is organizing efforts to help residents Bite Back against fire ants. The solution is a simple two-part attack, but success comes in the long-term follow-through.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Fire ants are more than aptly named, given the reddish-orange color of their bodies and the painful, burning sting they can give.
Fire ants were unintentionally introduced to the United States from South America. The first documented release of fire ants occurred near Mobile, Alabama around 1918, and by the late 1930s, most of Mississippi had them.
Fire ants are very small and aggressive. When disturbed, they swarm, bite and sting, producing a painful or itchy pustule within hours.
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!)