Plant Industry Home
Emerald Ash Borer Program
Entomological Services
Gypsy Moth Program
Red Imported Fire Ant Program
Boll Weevil Program
Sweetpotato Weevil Program
Pest Alerts

Plant Industry - Plant Protection Section
Entomological Services

Red Imported Fire Ant Program

The red imported fire ant (RIFA) is a nuisance and health concern to humans, livestock, and wildlife due to its painful sting. The red imported fire ant was first detected in the United States in Alabama in 1918. It was first identified in the southeastern part of North Carolina in Brunswick County in 1957.

Portions or entire areas of 71 of North Carolina's 100 counties are considered generally infested with red imported fire ants. The NCDA&CS issues certification and compliance agreements to individuals and industries engaged in the movement of potentially contaminated commodities to reduce man assisted movement of these ants.

For information regarding regulated articles, authorized pesticides, approved treatment options for shipping regulated articles from a quarantine area, such as nursery stock, grass, sod, greenhouse grown plants, and blueberries, and other fruit and nut nursery stock please see the RIFA program manual here.

For additional federal Imported Fire Ant information regarding the movement of regulated articles please visit USDA APHIS Plant Pest and Disease Programs here.

  • Imported Fire Ant; Additions to the list of quarantined areas: Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 24, February 8, 2008 (The linked document provides details of USDA's amendments to its imported fire ant quarantine areas).

Imported Fire Ant:
Quarantine Treatment for Nursery Stock,
Grass Sod, and Related Materials

(Full RIFA Program Manual Available Online at otherwise please click the following links for specific information)

For additional information see:

2014 North Carolina Quarantine Area Map (PDF)
2014 North Carolina Quarantine Area Boundary Description(PDF)
NC IFA Quarantine Areas from 1972-present
NCDA&CS Imported Fire Ant Regulations
NCDA&CS Imported Fire Ant Regulated Articles
NCDA&CS Imported Fire Ant Biological Control
2014 Extended Quarantine - News Release 12/3/2013
Fire Ant Quarantine - U.S. Map
Control of the Red Imported Fire Ant - NCCES/NCDA&CS
Texas A&M Fire Ant Site
Fire Ants, Armadillos, and Phorid Flies - Answers to Frequently Asked Questions*



NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division - Plant Protection Section
Plant Pest Administrator - Phillip L. Wilson
Mailing Address: 1060 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1060
Physical Address: 216 West Jones Street, Raleigh NC 27603
Phone: 919) 707-3753 | FAX: (919) 733-1041