Fire ants are extremely aggressive when bothered, and they may sting repeatedly. When stung, people may also experience itching, followed by the appearance of a white, fluid-filled pustule. Sensitive people may also have swelling, chest pain, difficulty breathing, nausea, and sweat after being stung. If this happens, get emergency medical treatment immediately. You can dial 911, or reach a Poison Control Center by dialing 1-800-222-1222.
Fire ants were introduced into the United States in the 1920's and 1930's. Now they are considered an invasive species in the southern states from Virginia to New Mexico, as well as California and Puerto Rico. Therefore, all areas where fire ant activity has been reported are under a quarantine regulated by the USDA.
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Through its county agents, the Cooperative Extension Service gives individuals access to the resources at land-grant universities across the nation. These universities are centers for research in many subjects, including entomology (the study of insects) and agriculture. Each county within the United States has an Extension office, which is staffed with agents who work closely with university-based Extension specialists to deliver answers to your questions about gardening, agriculture, and pest control. You can find the phone number for your local county extension office in the local government section (often marked with blue pages) of your telephone directory or by clicking on the map below.
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