Fire Ants in Virginia
By Bill McCaleb Program Assistant for Agriculture & Natural Resources Virginia Cooperative Extension Unwelcomed, Uninvited Visitors to Halifax County Normally we love to have visitors come to Halifax County, but in this case, it is unwelcomed travelers who were probably hitching a ride on a piece of movable farm, logging, or other commercial or private mobile equipment, and have now set up their home in the southern end of Halifax county. We now join our adjoining counties to the south and east of us in dealing with these unwanted, unwelcomed, uninvited red imported fire ants Solenopsis invicta. What is the red imported fire ant and where did they come from? There are several species of fire ants in the United States now. The most notorious is the red imported fire ant, that has now arrived in our county. Native to South America, these fire ants are considered an invasive species in the United States. They are aggressive, reddish brown to black, and from one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch long. As we have had established mounds in adjacent counties to our south and east, it is easy to understand how they got here.