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Fire Ant

The two species of imported fire ants (red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, and black imported fire ant, Solenopsis richteri Forel) and their sexually reproducing hybrid are invasive insects whose stings can cause serious medical problems. Imported fire ants interfere with outdoor activities and harm wildlife throughout the southern United States and elsewhere (see map and History of Control Efforts). Ant mounds are unsightly and may reduce land values. Although fire ants do prey on flea larvae, chinch bugs, cockroach eggs, ticks and other pests, the problems they cause usually outweigh any benefits in urban areas. While it may not be possible to eradicate fire ants, controlling them is highly desirable. The best control programs use a combination of non-chemical and chemical methods that are effective, economical, and least harmful to the environment.