Fire Ants

Asked June 27, 2017, 10:53 AM EDT

I have indications of possible fire ants and do not know what should I do. Several months ago appeared a lot of "debris" on the top step at the entrance to my basement. I contacted a local exterminator who checked the house for indication of termites and other insects... and said they were probably just aunts.h Since then I there has been other activities and am as certain as a nonexpert can be there are fire ants in my yard. Please guide me. Thank you

Anne Arundel County Maryland

5 Responses

We have good news for you.
We don't have fire ants in Maryland. They cannot survive our winters.
There are many types of ants that do live here though. They belong outside as beneficial insects that help to break down debris, aerate the soil and feed other insects and wildlife.
What are you seeing that is concerning to you?


Hi cm!

Where did you get the information about there not being fire ants in Maryland? I have found many web sites that have said that Maryland has imported fire ants.

I have found debris right next to the basement entrance that looks like a fire ant mound and some recent debris that looks identical to what has been called a brood. I just put a plastic bag of that material in the trash. There also have been observations of insect groups that appear to be the same as fire ant groups I have seen on the internet. In the future I can take pictures

That information comes from an expert, who is our staff entomologist. Beware of the information on the internet, especially if it is not science/researched based, and local to your area.
Technically, fire ants have been transported here in the past in shipments of tropical plants from southern states like Florida, but they are rounded up and destroyed. In addition, they can not survive and are not established here.
The nesting mounds and pupae etc. can look similar to our native ants.

If you want to send photos in the future, feel free.


Identifying Fire Ants

Imported Fire Ants March 13, 2017 Print Friendly and PDF

This is one of the articles

This is one of the articles on the internet ( that I was referring to

Identifying Fire Ants

Imported Fire Ants March 13, 2017 Print Friendly and PDF

In the United States, imported fire ants currently inhabit all or parts of Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. They are discovered sporadically in Maryland. The red imported fire ant has also been accidentally introduced to other countries. Imported fire ants will likely continue to spread throughout much of the southern portion of the U.S, and other parts of the world where climate conditions are suitable.

In general, fire ants may be found in localized areas only and are brought up from the south in potted plants. They do not establish here. The Maryland Department of Agriculture does survey for fire ants.

There are many types of ant species such as acrobat ants that can kick out debris. Monitor the area and when you see the insects and debris we would like to see photos so we can see what you may be dealing with. Place a ruler next to the insects for size.