Fire Ants Here in Vancouver!

June 23, 2012 Latest Updates by Brett Johnston

Fire ants are here in Vancouver and apparently getting worse. While fire ants have been in the news and have been a big problem in the United States for many years, we thought we'd been lucky here in BC so far...

Or so we thought....

It turns out that here in B.C., provincial biologists first became aware of the presence of European fire ants in 2010, but Robert Higgins of Thompson Rivers University believes they have been here for 15 years.

The European Fire Ant (Myrmica rubra Linnaeus) is the culprit locally as opposed to the imported red fire ant that is battled in the Southern United States. How bad is it? Well so far, it doesn't appear to be too bad. The bad news is these ants are considered highly invasive and have been found from Chilliwack to North Vancouver.  The good news is the ants do not appear to get into houses, but once they are in a lawn, they are extremely hard to get rid of.

The European Fire Ant is suspected to be coming in on plants from nurserys or garden centres. What do you do if you find ants in the plant you just brought home - are they fire ants? Well, ants can be difficult to identify, especially with just the naked eye. So, the recommendation is that if you see any evidence of ants in the plants you are bringing home, immerse the root wads in water for a minimum of one hour.

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