Fire ants reappearing in Orange County

April 24, 2006

Fire ants are reappearing in California's Orange County the result, say some critics, of the state ending its fire ant eradication funding in 2003.

"There's no question that the end of the (state) eradication program led to the stopping of treatments," Les Greenberg, a University of California-Riverside entomology specialist told the Orange County Register. "In a couple of years the ants had time to spread again -- mostly by their own means, by flight, as well as being transported by people."

State officials disagree, noting California still spends $1 million a year on a fire-ant program, mainly to help quarantined nurseries prevent the spread of the ants.

The biting, stinging ants -- native to South America -- were discovered in 1998, after they had already colonized most of southern Orange County, the newspaper reported. Although they don't carry diseases that can infect humans, they tend to build large, unsightly mounds and attack in large masses, each ant delivering multiple stings.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Homes pollute: Linked to 50 percent more water pollution than previously believed

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Study calculates the speed of ice formation

August 3, 2015

Researchers at Princeton University have for the first time directly calculated the rate at which water crystallizes into ice in a realistic computer model of water molecules. The simulations, which were carried out on supercomputers, ...

Small tilt in magnets makes them viable memory chips

August 3, 2015

University of California, Berkeley, researchers have discovered a new way to switch the polarization of nanomagnets, paving the way for high-density storage to move from hard disks onto integrated circuits.

4 million years at Africa's salad bar

August 3, 2015

As grasses grew more common in Africa, most major mammal groups tried grazing on them at times during the past 4 million years, but some of the animals went extinct or switched back to browsing on trees and shrubs, according ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.