The invasive species of fire ants officially known as “Imported Fire Ants,” have made their way to Land Between The Lakes. The species first made their way to the United States around 1918 and have spread through the decades. Imported fire ants collectively include red and black fire ants and their hybrids.
Damage Caused by Fire Ants
Urban and agricultural areas suffer annual losses amounting to almost $6 billion caused by fire ants. This includes about $750 million in agriculture related damage, and $5 billion in damage to households, business, schools, government, and institutions. If left untreated, they can spread quickly in urban and farming locales, causing significant losses to agriculture and tourism. We’re trying to slow down this march.
Electricity, or rather electromagnetic waves, also attract fire ants. Fire ants can cause damage to electrical boxes, small appliances, etc. by shorting or even severing wires.
Fire ants negatively affect tourism. They bite and sting people. Fire ants can also harm native wildlife and reduce the number of species in an area.
Proposed Treatment Action
“Treating imported fire ant mounds in the area will help slow their spread, and reduce potential adverse effects to visitors, wildlife, and facilities,” said Steve Bloemer, Wildlife Biologist at Land Between The Lakes.
We’ve partnered with state and federal efforts to slow the spread of these invasive fire ants. Insecticide baits are the preferred method currently being considered for treatment of the imported fire ant mounds at Land Between The Lakes. In situations where bait use would be inappropriate, insecticide drenches may be used instead. Insecticide drenches could also be used as follow up treatments. You can read the scoping letter for further details on the purpose, need, and proposed actions to deal with these invasive fire ants.
Comments about the proposed scoping project can be sent to: Tina R. Tilley, Area Supervisor, Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area, 100 Van Morgan Dr., Golden Pond, KY 42211. Fax: 270-924-2093, phone 270-924-2000. The office business hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Electronic comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), or Word (.doc, .docx) to [email protected].
Please state, “Treatment of Imported Fire Ants” in the subject line when providing electronic comments, or put it on the envelope when commenting by mail.
Sources and Additional Information
- Fire Ant Fact Sheet. www.landbetweenthelakes.us/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/LBLFireAntsInfo.pdf
- Fire Ants at Land Between The Lakes. www.landbetweenthelakes.us/fire-ants-land-lakes/
- Fire Ant Annual Losses. www.ars.usda.gov/sites/fireants/Imported.htm
- Fire Ants Swarming. http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/ant_fireswarm
- Humans vs. Fire Ants. Attracted to Electricity. www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vVUh-194vU
- Invasive Fire Ant Scoping Letter. http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558/abc123/forestservic.download.akamai.com/11558/www/nepa/100039_FSPLT3_2540941.pdf
- Invasive Species, Red Imported Fire Ant. www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/animals/rifa.shtml
- Map of Known Fire Ant Mounds at Land Between The Lakes. http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558/abc123/forestservic.download.akamai.com/11558/www/nepa/100039_FSPLT3_2539500.pdf
- Fire Ant Predation. http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/fire-ants-predation
- Red Imported Fire Ant. http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/ants/red_imported_fire_ant.htm