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MARYVILLE, MO (2009-06-08) Caution should be taken when purchasing baled hay from southern states as the hay could contain imported fire ants.
United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (aphis) is currently working with infested areas to quarantine and eliminate the spread of the fire ants.
The ants that are now investing 320 million acres were accidentally brought to the United States from South America.
Treatments to kill the fire ants and prevent them from spreading have been approved by APHIS for most of the regulated areas.
Fire ants appear to be ordinary ant but their aggressive behavior is dangerous to people, animals and crops.
Missouri has not been infested by the fire ants and awareness is being raised to prevent any cases of fire ants from spreading here.
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