Geographic Distribution of Fire Ants

Imported Fire Ants May 12, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

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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,  LouisianaMississippi, 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.

map where imported fire ants have been found

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.

Distribution and Quarantine Maps

Do You Have Fire Ants in Your Area?

Determine the quarantine status of your area by typing in your zip code at the USDA-APHIS Plant Health Protection site.  Also, see our Fire Ant Regional Information page.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.