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Geographic Distribution of Fire Ants: Where Do They Live?

Fire ants are found in many areas around the world. They’re most commonly found in North and South America but are also found in Asia and throughout Europe. 

However, they are also common in South America where they can be seen throughout Brazil and Argentina.

People often mistake fire ants for termites but there’s one big difference: termites build their colonies underground, fire ants live above ground where you might find them near lawns or other open spaces.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Ants x
5 Things You Didn't Know About Ants

Where Do Fire Ants Live In the World?

Fire ants live all over the world. In fact, fire ants have been seen to be living in North America, South America, Central America, Caribbean Islands, Asia (including India and China), and Australia.

They also inhabit Africa where they can be found from Senegal down to South Africa. 

Finally, they were introduced to Europeans near Spain. After some time these colonies of fire ants died out because European wasps prey on them. This made it difficult for them to survive outside their natural climate zones.

Also read: Ant Habitats: Where do ants live?

fire ant solo

Fire Ants in the United States

Fire ants live in the United States, where it is estimated they are found on more than 300 million acres. They can be seen all across the southern part of the United States. Fire ants have been spotted as far north as Delaware and Massachusetts, though these northern populations do not match up to their population south of where they were sighted.

What States Have Fire Ants?

North Carolina has the highest population of fire ants where it is estimated that more than 90% of farms and homes have them. They were first reported in North America on a cargo ship from Brazil, where they came into Florida. 

Their population was contained for over 60 years until the early 1990s when hurricanes helped spread them even further throughout all southern states where they can now be found.

Fire Ants in South America

Fire ants are widespread in South America where they have caused problems for the people and wildlife. They were first noticed in Brazil where their populations continue to grow, but it is believed that fire ants originated from Argentina. 

The United States Department of Agriculture has stated that there are about 20 million colonies located throughout Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia, and the northern regions of Argentina. 

Many humans injure themselves while removing fire ant mounds; these injuries can range anywhere from mild stings up to anaphylactic shock which can lead to death if not treated immediately with antihistamines or epinephrine injection.

Fire Ants in Europe

Fire ants are found in a number of European countries (also known as European red ants).

As with other parts of the world, fire ant species vary depending on where you live. In North America, there is one single dominant species whereas Europe has four main varieties.

european red ant

The most common where fire ants are found in Europe is the red ant which originated from South America where they were brought over for agricultural purposes and likely proliferated themselves to where we see them today in European countries such as UK, Belgium, Germany, France, Netherlands, and Spain among others.

Fire Ants in Asia

Fire ants are one of the most well-known invasive species in Asia. They were brought to China originally through trade with countries where the fire ant is endemic, but have since spread throughout all parts of China. 

They are now wreaking havoc on local ecosystems and agricultural industries by attacking livestock, killing native plants, and stinging humans. 

Fire ants feed primarily off plant nectar as adults but prey heavily upon insects when larvae or pupae. This causes them to pose a serious threat to many animals that rely on these insects for food including many birds who eat their eggs and larvae. 

ants eating food on the ground

The only predators known so far include certain ants, lizards (such as the Chinese water dragon who eat the ants where they’re plentiful), and some similar species of ant whose queens are known to invade fire ant nests.

Fire Ants in Africa

Fire ants live in Africa where there are several distinct species of a fire ant. Fire ants can be found throughout the African continent such as South Africa, where they have been known to cause many problems for farmers by attacking livestock and crops.

Fire Ants in Australia

Fire ants have spread throughout Australia as well, but were first discovered in Queensland in 2001 [1].

Natural Fire Ants Habitat

The natural habitat of fire ants is where they can find enough food for their nests. They live in the tropical regions where there is no winter season, but they cannot survive extremely hot weather where temperatures reach above 32 degrees Celsius or 90 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The only place where fire ant colonies really thrive is in the Brazilian Amazon Basin with its moist climate that provides water all year round as well as abundant vegetation which serves as food sources for them.

fire ants big nest

Fire Ant Mounds

These ant mounds are where fire ants live [2]. The mound is a big pile of dirt that contains tunnels where they can store food and where the queen lays her eggs, as well as vents to help regulate the temperature inside the mound. 

Fire ants create these mounds because it provides them with protection from predators and environmental hazards such as drought or cold weather.

In hot areas, this could be beneficial for maintaining an optimal internal nest environment by cooling off through evaporation at night when temperatures drop drastically outside their nests.

fire ants mound

How to Get Rid of Fire Ants?

Are you looking for the best way to get rid of fire ants?

You can read about how to get rid of ants here.

Some of the topics covered in the article are:

  • How to identify the ants
  • How to kill them or get rid of them with natural remedies
  • How to prevent further infestation
  • And other similar topics

FAQ

Where Can Fire Ants Be Found?

Fire ants are found in various regions around the world where their nests can be maintained. Fire ants have been known to spread out over a large area, taking up residence across countries and continents where they don’t even belong!

Where Do Fire Ants Live Naturally?

Fire ants live where the weather is warm and where it rains a lot. Fire ants can’t survive in places where there are very cold winters, so they have to migrate or hibernate during those times. Most of them live outdoors but some remain inside human buildings because that’s also where their food source is.

Where Are You Most Likely to Find Fire Ants?

Fire ants are found in the southern part of the United States, where they originated. Fire ants can also be found throughout Central America and South America, where their range includes parts of Mexico, all of Brazil, Peru and Bolivia, French Guiana (a region in France), Suriname (formerly Dutch Guiana) on the northeast coast of South America.

They live in the southern and western parts of Africa where they originated, including South Africa where they were accidentally introduced by humans. Fire ants also live on some of the Caribbean Islands such as Cuba where fire ants have been recorded since 1933.

Do Fire Ants Live In the United States?

Fire ants are native to South America where they live in nests underground. Fire ants were introduced into the United States through cargo ships during World War II, where their population has grown rapidly ever since. They can now be found throughout much of the southern U.S., but there have also been recent sightings in Maryland and New York City where invasive species are a growing concern.

Do Fire Ants Live in Canada?

Yes, fire ants can be found in Canada. Fire ants have been seen throughout most of Southern Ontario and Quebec since the late 1990s, where they continue to expand their territory slowly but surely. They also infest parts of Manitoba and Saskatchewan where they first appeared around 1995; these insects can be found sporadically across the rest of the country where they typically form small colonies.

About Teodoro Pittman

Teodoro is a nature and animal lover. He specifically focuses on insects, such as ants, bees, and the like. In his free time, he takes care of his own ant farm, where he analyzes their behavior. Teodoro has spent the last 7 years studying the intricate behavior of these small creatures.