Fire Ants on the move!

Following the few days of intense rain last week, some of you reported seeing increased fire ant activity in the state. With the exception of Sunday, temperatures around central NC have been cooler and although fire ants are typically most active when air temperatures are above 70°F (and soil temperatures are above at least 65°F), we have seen an increase in the appearance of new mounds.

Fig. 1. Fire Ant mounds; T. Billeisen

Our technician, Brian Royals, confirmed that when he placed food bait (sliced hot dogs) (Fig. 2) on the soil surface, fire ants were observed foraging within 15 minutes of placement. Be aware that we may continue to see fire ant activity through the month of October, if temperatures remain in the high 60s and 70s. For chemical options, refer to this article on Fire Ants in Turffiles.

Fig. 2. Fire Ants on hot dog slice; B. Royals