RED fire ants have become a threat to Spain after being spotted in a major port in Sicily, Italy.

Researchers found 88 nests in the southwest of the country, in Syracuse.

The pest, well-known for having a big impact on ecosystems, agriculture, and threatening our health, is considered one of the most destructive and invasive species on the planet.

While the exact path of their invasion remains uncertain, it’s likely they entered through a commercial port and migrated to the isolated area where they were discovered.

Genetic analyses point to them arriving from the US or even China, though these are not countries where the insect is native.

fire ant bites
PRICK: Fire ants are able to blind animals with their sting and can cause anaphylactic shock

A study by the Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF) concludes that the species could establish itself in 7% of Europe as the conditions in urban areas are suitable for them.

Cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, London, Paris, or Rome are at risk.

Before this study, in which CREAF and the universities of Parma and Catania collaborated, red fire ants had been discovered in imported goods in Spain, Finland, and the Netherlands.

Fortunately, they were prevented from establishing a presence in those countries as the goods were swiftly removed.

As climate change increases, the conditions on the continent improve for the ants, and more land in Europe becomes habitable for them.


Subscribe to the Olive Press

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.