Red Fire Ants- Invasive Species

by Julia Honeycutt

Where are they originally from?

Red Fire Ants are from South America.

Where in the world are red ants found?

In the US, red ants insects are found in parts of Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. They can also be found in Kentucky, Missouri and Maryland. However, these ants will continue to spread as long as the climate conditions are suitable.

Impact on the Environment

Fire ants are very aggressive and are feeders on small ground fauna. This includes insects, spiders, lizards, frogs, birds, and mammals. They may eliminate some native species. Newborn animals are prone to attacks that can lead to deaths. Fire ants invade the food and water supplies of animals. Also, the ants' habit of eating and damaging seeds can cause major changes in an ecosystem over time. Fire ants may attack animals that pollinate plants.

Fire ants can also cause economic problems. They like to build their nests on lawns, golf courses, and fields, which can cause serious problems. They can also cause expensive damage to electrical equipment.

Preventing the Spread

There is not a natural way to fight against red ants. Most of the time people use chemicals to kill red ants.