Fire Ant Control 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
Contact information for Dr. Blake Layton.
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.
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.
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.)
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)
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)