Controlling fire ants with TopChoice from Bayer Environmental Science
- Apply any time of year. TopChoice works all year long. Fire ants are most active when the temperature is cool and when the ground is moist. In hot, dry weather, deeply embedded ants are not as apt to crawl over or through the insecticide granules. However, applications made to turf under these conditions will be “warehoused” until the ants begin to actively build mounds and forage on the surface. And irrigation or rainfall will bring ants to the surface where they will come into contact with the active ingredient.
- Long residual effect. TopChoice kills existing colonies of fire ants and prevents new colonies from establishing for up to one year. After its initial release into the soil profile, TopChoice binds tightly to the soil creating a lasting barrier, one that’s not affected by heavy rainfall. Because it acts gradually, TopChoice kills foraging workers, but not before they carry the insecticide back to the colony and spread it to the queens and other ants.
- Unique mode of action. Fipronil (the active ingredient in TopChoice) acts at the GABA receptors of insects, “switching off” nerve impulses and causing severe disruption of the insect’s nervous system.
- Controls secondary pests. Besides providing effective control of fire ants for one year, TopChoice also controls mole crickets for four months, nuisance ants for three months, and fleas and ticks for one month.
- High safety profile. TopChoice is selectively toxic to insects, and optimum control is achieved with extremely low dose rates. Because of its selective effects, there are no concerns about family or pets when TopChoice is applied by a professional.
- TopChoice is a granular insecticide that provides unsurpassed control of fire ants. Available only through lawn care or pest control professionals.
About Fire Ants
Learn more about the biology of imported red fire ant colonies to understand pest control challenges:
- Colonies of imported red fire ants consist of the brood plus several types of adults.
- Queens (there may be multiple queens per colony) are large, wingless ants.
- Worker ants are wingless, sterile females that tend the larvae and protect the queen(s) by defending the nest from intruders.
- Workers also feel the queen(s) and move her when she is endangered.
- Winged males have black bodies and smaller heads than females.
- Reproductive males and females are winged.
Imported red fire ants — adaptive survivors
There are two kinds of fire ants — single and multiple queen forms. Workers in single-queen colonies are territorial, while workers in multiple-queen colonies move freely from one mound to another. Areas infested with single queen colonies contain 40 to 150 mounds per acre, and usually no more than 7 million ants. But in areas with multiple queen colonies, 200 or more mounds may be home to 40 million ants per acre.
Fire ant mounds can be built in most any type of soil, but the ants prefer open, sunny areas such as lawns, parks, pastures, meadows and cultivated fields. Depending on the type of soil, mounds can be up to 18 inches high. They can also be formed in rotting logs, around stumps and trees and in or under buildings.
Moisture is key to fire ant survival. When the weather is hot and dry, they burrow deep into the soil to find moisture and cooler temperatures. When it’s cold, they burrow down to stay warm. But in warm, damp weather (spring or fall), fire ants are most likely to be active, foraging near the soil surface and building mounds.
Colonies often move from one site to another. Queens need only half a dozen workers to start a new colony, and a new mound can develop several hundred feet from the old site overnight.
After TopChoice granules are broadcast over a target area, the active ingredient — fipronil — is released into the soil via rainfall or irrigation. As fire ants forage through the treated soil and build mounds, they come in contact with TopChoice, exposing themselves to it and also carrying the insecticide to other ants in the colony. Slowly and steadily, through the Domino Effect™, the queen and all other ants are killed. And TopChoice remains active for one full year, preventing new colonies from establishing.
TopChoice must be professionally applied and is ideal for use on commercial and recreational turf, golf courses, school grounds, sports fields, landscape beds, sod farms and home lawns. Contact a TopChoice Certified Lawn Care Operator today for 12 months of fire ant protection.
Managing commercial property gives you enough to worry about without having to contend with unsightly fire ant mounds and the potential liability for adverse reactions to fire ant stings. With new TopChoice™, you can cross fire ants off your to-do list for the next year.
Call Reynolds Pest Management today to get rid of your fire ants once and for all!