Ferocious Red Imported Fire Ants— Danger in the Grass!

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Red Imported Fire AntRed Imported Fire Ant
Photo Credit: Scott Bauer/ USDA/ARS

Sustainable lawn care in the southern half of the United States is made immeasurably more difficult because of imported red fire ants.


These noisome pests are more than a nuisance, they are downright dangerous.

What’s worse is that they are spreading at an exponential rate. If they are new to your region or you are new to an infested area, you are in for a nasty surprise.

Getting familiar with and getting rid of the imported red fire ant will be your new landscape goal.



Imported Red Fire Ants – Background

Controlling fire ants is a necessary skill for increasingly larger portions of homeowners and lawn care maintenance professionals in United States.

Red imported fire ants were introduced into the United States around 1930 in Mobile AL, most likely as stowaways on cargo ships from South America. Professionals like to be specific when describing the imported red fire ant since these invaders are not the only fire ants in the United States. They are, however, the deadliest.

Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta), or RIFA as they are termed in the scientific and professional landscape community, are spreading into more areas every year. California and Virginia are two of the latest casualties in the war with the red imported fire ant. Red imported fire ants now range over 13 southernmost states, as well as Australia, the Philippines, and many countries in the Pacific Rim. Billions of dollars are spent each year just to control the red imported fire ant population.

After many years of attempts it is now generally considered that total eradication of red imported fire ants from every infested area in the United States is impossible. The fire ant population is just too large and widespread. The goal now is to contain and control.


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