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Public Information Meeting on European Fire Ants

(Friday, April 9, 2010) - Citizens of HRM are invited to a public information meeting regarding European Fire Ants. Attending the meeting will be: Dr Andrew Hebda, Museum of Natural History, Provincial and Municipal Staff, and representatives from Industry.

Date:        Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Time:        7 PM

Location:  St. Mary’s Boat Club (Fairfield Rd, off Jubilee)

The European fire ant is an invasive, exotic species that is a nuisance pest for people.  Generally speaking, M. rubra worker ants are very small (4 to 5 mm) and reddish-brown. The queen is a little larger. Their waist has 2 segments and there are two backward pointing spines on the middle body section, visible with a magnifying glass. They aggressively defend their
territory and readily sting humans and pets in their foraging area.

They nest in decaying logs or soil, and under rocks and debris. It appears the ants spread two ways. One way is by “colony budding” into adjacent areas where a group of ants, including the queen, moves from the original colony and establishes a new nest nearby. They are also spread by human transport of nests from infested areas (soil, decaying logs, potted plants etc.).

Control Measures:
1. Properly store and dispose of food waste to avoid attracting insects

2. Reduce nesting sites by removing decaying logs, debris, etc from your yard, first ensuring they are free of European Fire Ants

3. Avoid transporting infested materials

4. Check with neighbours to assess the extent of the infestation. It is very important that all neighbours in the affected area “buy-in” in order for control and elimination to be effective.

Elimination Options:
1. Bait using traditional bait station methods (small infestations)

2. Hire a professional certified applicator company

HRM recommends that signage be posted 24 hours prior to a pesticide application and remain posted for a period of four days after the application.


Richard MacLellan
Acting Manager, Sustainable Environment Management Office




Above content last modified Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 8:49am.