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Red Imported Fire Ant in North Carolina

July 3, 2017
by TurfFiles Webmaster


The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, continues to spread across North Carolina, due in part to favorable climate conditions that aid its natural spread. In addition, increased residential and commercial development across the state provide opportunities for introductions of fire ants in infested sod, nursery stock, soil, and other materials. Although fire ant stings are not fatal for most people, they are painful. In agricultural areas, fire ant mounds can interfere with the operation of machinery and disrupt harvesting activities. Eradicating fire ants is not practical at this time, but we can manage infestations and reduce the chance of contact with people can be minimized.

Distribution of Fire Ants in the United States
Fire ants are native of southern Brazil. They currently inhabit eleven southern states, as well as isolated areas in New Mexico and California. In North Carolina, imported fire ants are found in all of part of 74 of 100 counties including isolated areas in western North Carolina. Most recently, fire ants have been confirmed in Jackson and Madison Counties. These areas (shown in red on the North Carolina map shown here) are currently under quarantine by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Service (NCDA&CS), regulating the movement of certain items that might carry ant infestations to other uninfested parts of the state and country...

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