Back to Blog Listing
May 7, 2024

The Solution for Red Imported Fire Ants on Golf Courses

Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA) are a non-native, mound-building ant species that have become established in many U.S. states, particularly in the southeast. Workers within the fire ant colony vary in size and will aggressively defend their nests from threat or disturbance. As for coloration, these ants will usually have reddish to brown heads and bodies that transition to darker, almost black gasters (abdomens). Another identifying feature (if you choose to examine closely) will be the two nodes, or bumps, located on their thin waist just before the large gaster.


From suburban neighborhoods to cow pastures and golf courses, RIFA pose a significant challenge in maintaining turfgrass areas across the southeastern US. Golf courses, with their ideal combination of well-maintained turfgrass, moist soil, and warm air, become prime locations for RIFA activity and their innate tendency to disrupt and adapt to changes in natural environments. A prime illustration of this behavior occurs at the intersections where rough terrain meets cultivated areas, such as where turf borders sidewalks, or where roughs meet greens. As temperatures rise in spring, mounds start appearing, and fire ant workers actively forage for food to share with their nestmates. This is a good time to make granular bait applications. Another effective strategy involves bait applications in the fall, as it targets colonies when they are in decline. This proactive approach helps to reduce the population and mounds the following spring, ensuring a more enjoyable golfing experience. When it comes to controlling fire ants on golf courses, Quali-Pro and CSI stand out with its extensive line of products. These include specially formulated bait granules, mound drench products, and granular insecticides, offering a comprehensive solution to combat fire ants.

Quali-Pro is proud to present our newest fire ant control product, Doxem Plus Fire Ant Bait. A unique combination of three active ingredients – indoxacarb, novaluron and pyriproxyfen.

Graph 1 shows the decrease of RIFA over time, after introduction of Doxem FAB as a mound treatment, in a field trial. Percent control is calculated based on untreated plots.

Doxem FAB mound trtmnt graph foraging ants

Graph 2 depicts the decrease in RIFA foraging activity over time, after introduction of Doxem FAB as a broadcast treatment, in a field trial. Percent control is calculated based on untreated plots.

Doxem FAB broadcast trtmnt graph


Bobby Kerr, Ph.D

Bobby Kerr, Ph.D. T&O Technical Services Manager

Subscribe to email updates