Imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta and Solenopsis richteri) originally came from South America. In the United States, imported fire ants currently inhabit all or parts of Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. They are discovered sporadically in Kentucky, Missouri, and Maryland. The red imported fire ant has also been accidentally introduced to other countries. Imported fire ants will likely continue to spread throughout much of the southern portion of the U.S, and other parts of the world where climate conditions are suitable.
The map above shows areas known to be infested by imported fire ants as of summer 2014. You can click on the map, or here, for the latest versions of the fire ant maps. The maps were created from information provided by the Imported Fire Ants Community of Practice. See also Additional Information About the Interactive Fire Ant Map.
In other countries, they have been found in northern Mexico along the Rio Grande River, eastern Australia including Brisbane, and several locations in Taiwan and mainland China. They have been detected several times in New Zealand but have been eliminated.