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Agricultural Review

Quarantine area for imported fire ant expands

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 70 counties.

The quarantine expansion means residents and business owners in all of Currituck, Durham and Hertford counties, and portions of Alamance, Granville, Guilford, Iredell, Rutherford and Vance 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 addition of:

  • Currituck County – The entire county.
  • Durham County - The entire county.
  • Hertford County - The entire county.
  • Alamance County - The area south of Interstate 85 from the Guilford County line to the Orange County line.
  • Granville County - The area south of U.S. 158 from the Person County line to the Vance County line.
  • Guilford County - The area south of I-40 from the Alamance County line to the Forsyth County line.
  • Iredell County - The area south of I-40 from the Davie County line to the Catawba County line.
  • Rutherford County - The area south and east of N.C. 108 from the Polk County line to the junction of U.S. 64 E. to the McDowell County line.
  • Vance County - The area south of I-85 from the Warren County line to the Granville 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 the issuance of a stop-sale notice and rejection or destruction of the regulated article,” said Gene Cross, director of the NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division. “Fire ants can be harmful to humans and livestock. 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

NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Andrea Ashby, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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