Fire Ant Invasion In Nashville: Could Your Home Be Next?
Clemson University – USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, Bugwood.org
Maybe you have spotted the fire ant mounds around the Nashville and Middle Tennessee area. We haven’t seen them invade homeowners landscapes yet, but it may be just a matter of time.
Despite the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s attempt to quarantine the delivery of soil, nursery plants, and baled hay from areas infested with fire ants to those without, the ants have marched on and continued their invasion of the South.
Below are some highlights for an article I read recently about fire ants entitled “Ants From Hell” and I can assure you some of the information could cause nightmares and is not for the faint-of-heart!
Fire Ant Invasion Facts
- Did you know that if you draw a line from Virginia Beach to Nashville to Abilene in west Texas, you’ll find fire ants everywhere below it, as well as in Southern California.
- The ants’ annual impact on the economy, environment, and quality of life in the United States totals $6 billion, according to entomologists at Texas A&M University.
- In Texas alone they racked up damage totaling $1.2 billion each year: $47 million at golf courses; $64 million at cemeteries (the ants love the open and slightly overgrown habitat around tombs); and as much as $255 million in the cattle industry. They cause other problems too.
- In Virginia Beach, 30-year-old former marine Bradley Johnson was stung by fire ants while working outside—and died of anaphylactic shock.
- On at least one occasion, fire ants invaded an elementary school in Tennessee to get candy stashed in kids’ lockers. At Greystone Retirement Community in Huntsville, Ala., a staffer found 79-year-old Lucille Devers covered in fire ants, which were crawling from her mouth, nose, ears, and hair: The ants frequently enter nursing homes, attracted by crumbs left in residents’ beds. And scientists anticipate that the ants will keep expanding their range. Climate change and crossbreeding with species more tolerant of cold may enable them to settle farther north.
- For those people who are most allergic, fire ant stings can cause spasms of the bronchial muscles or coronary arteries, preventing oxygen from entering the bloodstream and causing death within minutes.
- Fire ants like to build chambers and tunnels that ran as much as four feet deep, and they like to build mounds in disturbed habitats such as the edge of a road, the side of a building, pastures, lawns, or near a busy ports.
If you find fire ants in your landscape, please do not attempt to destroy them yourself. The job is really for the professionals and our team at Acer Landscape Services are certified to help. Give us a call at 615-350-8030 or fill out our online form.
You May Also Like:
Resource Guide to 5 Foreign invaders of Landscape Plants in Nashville and Middle Tennessee
Gardening With Deer in Nashville
At Acer, we're planting the good life. For FREE estimates call 615-350-8030 x 17 or complete our short form online
Want to be notified when we've written a new blog post? Subscribe To Our Blog and receive a copy of our new E-book!