THRESHOLDS & MENTORING

Many states do not offer guidance on fire ant thresholds, and it is up to each IPM team, school or district to decide the thresholds they are comfortable with, while also adhering to integrated pest mangement (IPM) principles. An example of a threshold strategy is below.

ABC School, Anywhere, USA

  • Highly trafficked areas with more than 1 active mound = broadcast treatment of all turf AND mound treatments of active mounds.
  • Highly trafficked area with 0 active mounds but a history of fire ant activity = Broadcast treatment.
  • Highly trafficked area with 0 active mounds and no history of fire ants = Weekly monitoring.
  • Low traffic areas with more than 15 mounds per acre = Mound treatments of active mounds and broadcast treatment of entire turf.
  • Low traffic areas with less than 15 mounds per acre = Mound treatments only.
  • Buildings with more than 1 active mound within ten feet of building = Perimeter treatment.

Monitoring

An important aspect of IPM is careful monitoring. Be sure to:

  • Inspect high-traffic areas weekly, and low traffic areas monthly.
  • Inspect after rain as fire ants like to build new nests in moist soil.
  • Instruct all maintenance personnel to report any mounds.

 A fire ant mound in a schoolyard
For some schools, just one mound may be one mound too many.