South Korea asks A&M to assist with controlling invasion of fire ants

In *All by Ag is America

South Korea is looking to Texas A&M University for advice on how to deal with their red ant invasion. Entomologists from South Korea plan to visit Texas A&M in establish a network of experts in the areas of ecology, physiology, integrated pest management and genomics in fire ants to help them deal with their rent ant population. With that, they hope to establish a continual collaboration in the continuing years.  South Korea however isn’t the first country to ask Texas A&M for advice for their red ant population, Australia is. In fact, Dr. Robert Puckett, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist in urban and structural insects traveled to Australia where he advised government officials on insecticides and baits to use, when to use them and what level of control to expect. However, Puckett says that Australia has been slow to move the process along and unlike Australia, South Korea has mobilized a plan.

South Korea believes the red fire ants are coming to Busan, a trade port city in the southern part of Korea, as they were first reported there. South Korea believes the problem must be coming from the shipping containers, because the containers themselves are not air tight. This is a genuine problem, because it potentially allows the ants to climb in, nestle in, reproduce and arrive in another country or another port. This will be a continual problem as only about 2 percent of these containers are examined coming out of the Busan port. If these containers are not inspected, red ants could invade another country.

If you would like to learn more about the fire ant invasion, read more here.

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