Invaders From the South: Fire Ants

By: Heath Myrick
By: Heath Myrick

Fire ants can decimate ground dwelling animals and way of life for many people in their path. Thus far, the fire ant invasion has stopped just short of our borders; however, isolated incidents have biologists urging us to keep our eyes peeled.

In 2000, there were isolated reports of fire ants in Western Kentucky. Several mounds were reported in McCracken and Calloway Counties. Biologists say the harsh winter that year killed the majority of the species in Kentucky.

In 1930, the red imported fire ant was introduced in Mobile, Alabama. Since then, the ants have rapidly spread throughout the South-Eastern United States. The Northern trend has been slowed by cooler climates.

The ant species naturally spread rapidly, but human transport has helped to increase the population. If you spot fire ants in your area, you're asked to report the sighting to your local agriculture extension agent.

You can find your agent's number by visiting:
www.cauky.ed/county/


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