The Richmond Observer – imported fire ants quarantine area that extends to all of Granville County and portions of Caswell and Person Counties

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RALEIGH – The NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is expanding a state quarantine for the imported fire ant to include all of Granville and parts of Caswell and Person counties, effective January 1, 2022. With the expansion, the quarantine now covers parts or entire areas of 79 counties.

The quarantine continues its efforts to monitor the spread of this pest and take measures to contain or control it. Quarantine regulations require residents and business owners in these counties to obtain approval before moving plants, lawns, and related equipment into or through uninfected areas. Certificates are available from a local crop protection specialist or from the crop protection department at 800-206-9333 or 919-707-3730.

Objects requiring approval include tree nurseries, sod, earth, hay and straw, tree trunks or pulpwood with earth, and earthmoving equipment. Moving other products, objects or contaminated materials that pose a risk of spreading from established IFA areas to non-contaminated areas is also prohibited.

“Failure to obtain the required inspections and certifications may result in the issuance of a Stop Sales and the rejection or destruction of the regulated item,” said Bill Foote, director of the NCDA & CS Plant Industry Division. “Fire ants can be harmful to humans and livestock. It is important that we continue our proactive efforts to slow the movement of fire ants into uninfected areas of the state. “

The imported fire ant was first identified in Brunswick County in 1957. As it spread and established itself, it was recognized as an aggressive pest of farmland, pasture, residential areas and wildlife, Foote said. Because of its painful sting, the imported fire ant is considered annoying and harmful to human, livestock and game.

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