This is not a drill: Fire ant quarantine expands in Virginia

This is not a drill: Fire ant quarantine expands in Virginia
Imported fire ants are not native to the United States and are known for their aggressive behavior and ferocious sting. (Source: Virginia Tech)

EMPORIA, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has expanded the state’s imported fire ant quarantine.

Officials say fire ant populations are now widespread in the following additional counties and cities: Brunswick, Greensville, Isle of Wight, James City, Mecklenburg, Southampton, and York and the independent cities of Chesapeake, Emporia, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg

Imported fire ants are not native to the United States and are known for their aggressive behavior and ferocious sting. Once established, they can spread to uninfested areas.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has expanded the state’s imported fire ant quarantine.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has expanded the state’s imported fire ant quarantine. (Source: Virginia Tech)

Under the quarantine, the following items cannot be moved from the area:

  • Any life stage of imported fire ant
  • Soil, except soil shipped in original containers after commercial preparation
  • Plants with roots with soil attached and rhizomes with soil attached
  • Grass sod
  • Used soil-moving equipment unless free of all non-compacted soil
  • Used farm equipment, unless free of all non-compacted soil
  • Hay and straw stored in direct contact with the ground
  • Honey bee hives stored in direct contact with the ground
  • Logs and pulpwood with soil attached

More information on the fire ant quarantine can be found here.

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