Georgia (and fire ants) on my mind

Georgia (and fire ants) on my mind

In March, we were lucky enough to spend a day in Alpharetta, Georgia at the Echelon Golf Club, the state’s second toughest course after Kinderlou Forest in Valdosta. We will neither confirm or deny that it was tough* as we were there to take on a different challenge—fire ants.

We asked Superintendent Todd Lime, CGCS, to test just how fast the new Talstar® XTRA GC granular insecticide works on fire ant mounds. Lime doesn’t have many fire ants on his hilly par-72, 7,500-yard course but now and then large mounds pop up in his bunkers, which could turn finding yourself in a hazard into an even more painful experience.

Lime admitted that he “was surprised” at how quickly Talstar XTRA GC eliminated entire colonies. “We applied it and when we came back about an hour later, I dug through the mounds and all the ants were dead,” said Lime. “And to this day, those ants are gone.”

Lime notes that irrigation is key, especially in Georgia’s hard clay soil. He suggests using about a gallon of water per average size mound. Also, after any rain, superintendents should be ready. “Just to be safe, have a bag [of Talstar XTRA GC] in your cart,” he said.

*Okay, okay, we admit it. We played and it was tough. Brace yourself for the back nine.

More on Talstar XTRA GC — not just for fire ants!

Talstar XTRA GC granular insecticide features a greens-grade, sand-core granule, so you can protect your greens, tees, fairways, roughs and even ornamental plantings without damaging sensitive turf or plants.

Talstar XTRA GC provides two to four months of lasting control of ants (including imported fire ants), cutworms, webworms, armyworms, mole crickets and more. What’s more, its low application rates make it an excellent, cost-effective choice for your course.

For more information or to find a FMC Market Specialist or local FMC Distributor, visit

Todd Lime, CGCS, has been with Echelon Golf Club for three years. His TifSport bermudagrass course features bentgrass greens and 7,500 yards of challenging play.

Fire ants build mounds even as far north as the Blue Ridge foothills. Use enough water to penetrate mounds, especially in clay soils like at the Echelon Golf Club in Alpharetta, Georgia.

In the Blue Ridge foothills, fire ants are few and far between but they can contaminate bunkers like these on Echelon Golf Club's gorgeous 507-yard Hole 14. Photo courtesy of Chris Hess, Echelon Golf Club.

Look for fire ants along bunkers and cart paths — they prefer sandy soil to clay. Photo courtesy of Chris Hess, Echelon Golf Club.

To play Echelon Golf Club, visit or call 770.888.4653. Echelon is 40 miles north of Altanta, just off Route 372.