Frequently Used Tools:


 

Management — Impact

 

Urban Impact

Direct

Nuisance:
Stings uncomfortable
— Fear of stings deter activities
— Invasion of stored food or home

Fire ants in pavement crack

Economic:
— Reduced property values
— Structural damage
— Equipment (electrical) damage
— Damage to lawns, ornamentals, and gardens
— Problems with pets (see domestic animals)

Fire ants invading electrical equipment

Indirect

— Pesticide overuse
— Expense and time with use of non-effective products
— Expense and time for only temporary management

Inspectin a pasture for fire ants

 

Agricultural Impact

Direct

Domestic Animals :
Death
— Blindness and veterinary expense
— Decreased animal quality (reduces weight gain, crippled)
— Damage to automatic feeding and watering equipment

Animal's eye blinded by fire ants

Crop Economics:
— Damage to or removal of seeds
— Damage to roots, tubers, stems, and fruits
— Tend (i.e., protect) Homoptera (sucking insects)
— Ants deter hand labor
— Incompatible with other forms of biological control
Damage to irrigation systems

Fire ants damaging crops Fire ants tending to aphids

Indirect

— Opting not to produce a crop/product due to fire ants
— Expenses due to control measures

Inspectin a pasture for fire ants

 

Wildlife and Recreational Impact

Direct

— Damage seeds and alter plant assemblages
— Become dominate invertebrate predators
— Reduce invertebrate fauna
— Impact endangered species
— Interfere with hunting and fishing

Photo of damage to seed pod Damage to wildlife

Indirect

— Reduce utilization of parks and recreation areas
— Reduce tourism

 


Source: Vinson, S.B. 1997. Invasions of the Red Imported Fire Ant. Amer. Ent. 43(1): 23-39.
Courtesy of The Entomological Society of America