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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

Fire ants.
Filed Under: Fire Ants, Lawn and Garden August 31, 2021

Everyone loves a good myth buster, and we have a very timely one for you! Fire ant beds in your yard can be such a headache to deal with. Many people have used home remedies to control ants. But are those quick fixes really getting rid of the ants in your yard? Let’s take a look at some commonly used home remedies and whether or not they work! 

Fire ants around rocks
Filed Under: Insects, Fire Ants, Insects-Vegetable Gardens, Vegetable Gardens June 23, 2021

Do you have fire ants in your vegetable garden? Me too. Good news for all of us! There are some fire ant baits that are safe to use around food plants.

A closeup of a fire ant mound.
Filed Under: Fire Ants, Insects-Home Lawns, Turfgrass and Lawn Management April 6, 2021

Fire ants are the most common pests of home lawns, but homeowners can manage them with the right approach, and spring is the perfect time to begin the process.

Close-up of a fire ant mound
Filed Under: Fire Ants, Lawn and Garden, Insects-Home Lawns September 4, 2020

If you want fewer fire ant beds in your yard, the best way to achieve that goal is to maintain a consistent management plan throughout the year.

Liquid drench is poured from a watering can on a fire ant bed.
Filed Under: Fire Ants, Insects-Home Lawns May 21, 2020

This is the time of year to start a good fire ant management plan that can reduce the number of beds in your yard by 80 to 90 percent.

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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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Portrait of Dr. Blake Layton, Jr.
Extension Professor
Entomology; extension insect identification; fire ants; termites; insect pests in the home, lawn and