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 the 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.

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 a professional applies TopChoice.

For more information on Fire Ant Management see