The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is issuing a revised Federal Order that establishes quarantined areas in Virginia for the first time and expands the existing quarantine areas in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Texas for the Imported fire ant (IFA). This action is necessary in order to prevent the interstate spread of IFA.
Effective immediately, APHIS is establishing a quarantine for IFA in the following areas:
The entire county of Arkansas, in Arkansas; portions of Cannon, Dickson, Davidson, Gibson, Knox, Sevier, and Williamson counties, and the entire counties of Tipton, Warren, and White in Tennessee; a portion of Lubbock county, as well as the entire counties of Archer, Baylor, Callahan, Clay, Coke, Coleman, Concho, Crane, Crockett, Fisher, Haskell, Howard, Irion, Martin, Mitchell, Nolan, Reagan, Runnels, Schleicher, Scurry, Shakelford, Starr, Terrell, Throckmorton, Upton, Ward, Wilbarger, and Winkler in Texas, are quarantined for IFA. For the first time, the entire counties of James City and York, and the Cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg in Virginia, are also added to the IFA quarantine.
APHIS is taking these actions based upon verification from the Arkansas Agriculture Department, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, the Texas Department of Agriculture, and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, that IFA are present and established in the areas listed above.
Under IPPC standards, Imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta Buren, S. richteri Forel, and hybrids of these species) are pests that are considered present: only in some parts of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.