Federal quarantine regulations mandate specific fire ant treatment(s) for plants to be shipped to areas free of fire ants, but each infested state may have additional regulations and agencies that enforce them. In Tennessee the Department of Agriculture, Division of Regulatory Services established the Imported Fire Ant Quarantine Rule in 1990. Treatment suggestions approved for commercially produced ornamental plants to be shipped out of a quarantined area can be found in Imported Fire Ant 2015: Quarantine Treatments for Nursery Stock, Grass Sod, and Related Materials. Also available is a table of products available for Tennessee nursery production. Changes to the treatment manual that went into affect March 6, 2013 include an addition of bifenthrin as a ball-and-burlap treatment and a grass sod treatment. Also, it is suggested that root balls are rotated between daily treatment applications. In all cases the producer must obtain a Compliance Agreement from the state regulatory agency. Greenhouse-grown plants may be exempt from quarantine treatment regulations if an inspector determines that the facility is tightly closed, but the grower still must have a Compliance Agreement.
A copy of the entire Imported Fire Ant Program Manual which describes treatment programs for complying with the United States Department of Agriculture Imported Fire Ant Quarantine Regulations, may be obtained online or from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine, Domestic and Emergency Operations (4700 River Road Unit 134, Riverdale, Maryland 20737-1236).
Additional information on the Imported Fire Ant Quarantine in Tennessee can be found at Tennessee Department of Agriculture Fire Ant Web site which contains the following information:
- Economic Impact of Fire Ants in Tennessee
- Imported Fire Ant Quarantine
- Federal Imported Fire Ant Quarantine (7CFR301) USDA IFA Map
- Tennessee Imported Fire Ant Quarantine Rule Tennessee
- IFA Quarantine Map
- Tennessee Imported Fire Ant Quarantine
- Materials Regulated By The Imported Fire Ant Quarantine
- Requirements For Growers Concerning The Imported Fire Ant Quarantine
- Imported Fire Ant: Quarantine Treatments for Nursery Stock and Other Regulated Articles (APHIS Program Aid No. 1653) contains detailed information about treatment options.
- USDA Amends Fire Ant Regulations Concerning Fipronil
- Transportation Of Regulated Items From Quarantined To Non-quarantined Areas
- IFA Hay Advisory
- Consequences of Breaking the Imported Fire Ant Quarantine
- What Can I Do If I Buy Products Infested with Imparted Fire Ants?
- Contact the Plant Certification Section or your County Extension Agent to confirm Imported Fire Ant presence so that appropriate steps can be taken to close this potential route of entry.