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. Click on an individual county to see whether the county is under quarantine, or if there has been a report of imported fire ants at one time or another. The maps were created from information provided by the Ant Pests Community of Practice. See also Additional Information About the Interactive Fire Ant Map. Additional information about the occurrence of biological control agents of the imported fire ants can be found on the Natural Enemies of Fire Ants page.
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. In May 2017 they were detected near the port of Kobe in Japan. In September 2017 there were reports of interceptions in Korea.
Distribution and Quarantine Maps
- APHIS USDA U.S. quarantine map
- USDA – Potential U.S. range expansion of the invasive fire ant
- Distribution of Red, Black, and Hybrid Imported Fire Ants in the U.S.
- Fire Ants in Australia
- Pacific Invasive Ant Key (PIA Key) – an illustrated identification guide to invasive ant species commonly encountered in the Pacific Island region (NOTE: If link does not work, try fijiants.org)
- NAPIS Pest Tracker – The National Agricultural Pest Information System (NAPIS) stores and manages pest survey data that is collected by CAPS and other PPQ survey programs.
- Regional information about fire ants