Imported Fire Ants: An Agricultural Pest and a Human Health Hazard

Imported fire ants were accidentally introduced to the United States. The black imported fire ant was brought to Mobile, AL, in 1918. The red imported fire ant arrived in the 1930s. Since then, they have become established across the South and in parts of California and other Western States. These pests pose serious threats to people, small animals, and agricultural equipment. As these insects spread northward and westward, more people are asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for advice about how to manage imported fire ants. This factsheet answers several frequently asked questions.

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