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If a fire ant colony is flooded during a rainstorm or other high-water situation, the ants cling together and form a living raft that floats on the flood waters. Once the raft hits dry ground or a tree, rock, or other dry object, the ants can leave the water.
Footage Shows Massive Colonies of Fire Ants Floating in Hurricane Florence Floodwaters (Sep 18, 2018)
Floodwaters will not drown fire ants. In the wake of Hurricane Florence, victims in the storm's path are being warned to avoid wading through dangerous floodwaters (in addition to other reasons and threats).
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists have already intercepted a dozen significant and potentially destructive pests this year at various ports of entry in Florida as part of the agency's all-encompassing efforts to safeguard American agriculture.
Unknown pests pose a significant risk in agriculture due to a lack of knowledge in controlling the pests and the extent of damage they can cause to crops. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologists recently classified eight pests discovered by CBP agriculture specialists in Florida as first-in-the-nation interceptions and another pest as a new species.
Recent hurricanes may have spread non-native freshwater plants and animals into new water bodies, where some of them can disrupt living communities or change the landscape. To help land managers find and manage these flood-borne newcomers, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey have created four online maps, one for each hurricane. These “storm tracker” map sets, on which users can see the potential spread of any of 226 non-native aquatic plant and animal species during the 2017 hurricane season. For more information, see Flood and Storm Tracker (FaST) Maps.
The spotted lanternfly is native to China. It was first detected in 2014 (but appeared to have been present in the U.S. for 2-3 years) and poses a serious economic threat to multiple U.S. industries, including viticulture, fruit trees, ornamentals and timber.
The Bureau of Reclamation has launched a new prize competition seeking innovative solutions for the 100-percent eradication of invasive quagga and zebra mussels from large reservoirs, lakes and rivers in a cost-effective and environmentally sound manner. Invasive mussel infestations pose significant logistical and economic challenges for local communities, recreationists, and water managers by potentially disrupting water deliveries, increasing facility maintenance cost, and impacting the local ecology.
Early in October 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was faced once again with New World screwworm, which had been eradicated from the United States more than three decades ago. Infestation of this flesh-eating parasite was confirmed in deer from the National Key Deer Refuge in the Florida Keys.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) immediately began releasing sterile male flies in Florida’s affected areas as part of an aggressive eradication campaign. By March 2017, the screwworm had been successfully eradicated from Florida.
Webinars are scheduled monthly for information about good and bad insects. Extension staff will discuss troublesome insects such as invasive ants, landscape pests, and house dwellers as well as the 8-legged ones too (arachnids). Not all insects are bad, though, learn the differences in identification and how to welcome pollinators to your area! Previous years webinars are archived and available for viewing.
Produced by: Biological Resources Division (BRD), Invasive Plant Program (IPP) and Denver Service Center.
The NPS is working to manage invasive species on park lands through a suite of national and local programs including the NPS Invasive Plant Program (IPP). This strategic plan sets the course for the IPP by articulating a mission, vision, goals, and actions for the next ten years with near-term goals that will be reported on and revisited annually. The plan will guide annual work planning and major projects and identify and help prioritize program funding needs and initiatives.