The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) originated in South America. It was accidentally introduced into the southern United States around the 1930’s. More recently, it has recently been detected in parts of Australia, Taiwan, China and Mexico (Drees 2009). A few colonies have also been found in New Zealand. In each of these cases, efforts have been made to determine the spread, limit spread and/or attempt suppression or eradication efforts (Oi and Drees 2009).
U.S. scientists provided assistance during visits to infested areas in cooperation with Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in New Zealand (2001), the Department of Primary Industries in Queensland, Australia (2001) and the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, Council of Agriculture, Taiwan (2004). The Pacific Ant Prevention Plan (Pacific Invasive Ant Group of The World Conservation Union’s Invasive Species Specialist Group) has been established to address concerns of spreading exotic invasive pest ants internationally. The First International Symposium of the Red Imported Fire Ant in Mexico was held at the La Universitad Autonoma Agraria Antonio Narro in Saltillo, MX, Sept. 6-9, 2005.
Drees, B. M. 2009. Red imported fire ant management, impact of educational programs and considerations for recent incursions, International Turfgrass Society, Research Journal Volume 11, pages 631-637.
Oi, D. H. and Drees, B. M. 2009. Chapter 30: Fire ant IPM. In Integrated Pest Management (E. B. Radcliffe, W. D. Hutchison and R. E. Cancelado, eds.) Cambridge Univ. Press, pages 390-401, 529 pages.