Fire ant concerns and sod issues
Date Posted: 2/25/2011

The issue with fire ants is completely valid.  James, our service manager, is completely aware of the situation.  We are planning to apply more Topchoice.  My experience with Topchoice is that it works and after it is applied, we should be able to forget about fire ants.  We obviously are not able to forget about fire ants on your property yet. I do need to say that we have seen a decrease in the amount of mounds.  But I do agree that there are still many active mounds – many more than what you were promised.  With anything related to gardening, there will never be 100% elimination but we will work to get the population down to an acceptable amount – I would settle with 99%.  It also states on the label that Topchoice can only be applied once per year, with additional spot treatments if necessary.  We will be “spot treating” a large area!   

I have a technician on your property spraying the active mounds today.  He will treat all the locations you pointed out and any others he sees.  We will also apply more Topchoice next week.

Color - We include iron and nitrogen in the liquid mix.  Adding more nitrogen and iron or using granular in the cooler season would not have produced any more color than what was seen.  Turf, when in cooler seasons, basically shuts down and goes into a survival mode.  The nutrients that are applied in cooler seasons are not wasted but stored in the plant.  When warmer temperatures are consistent, the plant (Turf) then uses the nutrients stored to produce food which increases color.  Longer days, with more sunlight, increase the turf’s ability to produce more color also.  The nitrogen in granular is the same as the nitrogen in liquid.  Iron is commercially applied as a liquid. 

As far as the next application, we need to apply chinch bug and grub worm insecticide.  This has to be done with a liquid application.  There is no guarantee for effective insect control unless it is a liquid application.  If we need to apply more granular in areas struggling with color, we will – just like I did last week.  Our goal is the same as yours – and we need to do what we know and the research says works.
Chuck Meacham, TruGreen