Quarantine area for imported fire ants expanded
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is expanding a state quarantine for the imported fire ant in a continuing effort to monitor and address this pest. With the expansion, the quarantine now includes portions or entire areas of 67 counties.
The quarantine expansion means residents and business owners in all of Camden, Chowan, Franklin, Gates, Nash, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Randolph, and portions of Halifax, Hertford, Northampton and Rowan counties will now need to obtain a permit before moving plants, sod and related equipment into or through non-infested areas.
Effective immediately, the imported fire ant quarantine is revised to include the following counties:
- Entire counties of Camden, Chowan, Franklin, Gates, Nash, Perquimans, Pasquotank, Randolph;
- Halifax - The portion of the county southeast of U.S. Highway 258 from the Edgecombe County line to the Northampton County line;
- Hertford - The portion south of U.S. 158 from the Northampton County line to the Gates County line;
- Northampton - The portion southeast of U.S. 258 from the Halifax County line to the Hertford County line; and
- Rowan - The portion south of U.S. 70 from the Iredell County line to the Davidson County line.
Items requiring a permit include sod, soil, hay and straw, nursery plant material, logs or pulpwood with soil, and soil-moving equipment. Movement of infested materials could result in the establishment and secondary spread of the pest to non-infested areas.
Businesses and individuals within the quarantined areas will need to obtain a permit to move these materials through or to non-quarantined areas. Certificates can be obtained from a local plant protection specialist or by contacting the Plant Protection Section at (800) 206-9333 or (919) 733-6932.
“Failure to obtain the needed inspections and certifications may result in a stop-sale notice and rejection or destruction of the regulated article,” said Gene Cross, director of the NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division. “It is critical we continue proactive efforts to slow down fire ant movement into non-infested areas of the state.”
For a map of the quarantine area, go to www.ncagr.gov/plantind/plant/entomol/ifamap.htm.