Fire ants are native to South America, and were introduced to the United States accidentally when an infested ship from Brazil docked in Mobile, Alabama in the late 1930’s. Since then, they have spread through most of the southern US, and into parts of California and the East Coast. It’s impossible to say exactly how quickly fire ant populations are currently spreading.
Many species of the red fire ant are now present in the US and though originally thought to have entered through the port of Mobile, Alabama, there are also thought to be entering through Mexico. The link below shows a map from the USDA that has definite cases of invasive fire ant as far north along the eastern seaboard as Maryland with the potential to climb up to New Jersey.
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