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— Arkansas County in southeast Arkansas is now part of the federal fire ant quarantine, bringing to 34 the number of quarantined counties in state.

Arkansas joins Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Chicot, Clark, Cleveland, Columbia, Dallas, Desha, Drew, Faulkner, Garland, Grant, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Howard, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lincoln, Little River, Lonoke, Miller, Montgomery, Nevada, Ouachita, Perry, Pike, Polk, Pulaski, Saline, Sevier, Union and Yell counties in the quarantine.

“The federal order detailing quarantine area additions was issued Oct. 28,” Kelly Loftin, extension entomologist and associate professor with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, said.

The Federal Imported Fire Ant Quarantine was initiated in 1958 to lessen the expansion of imported fire ants and hybrids.

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS, works with states to limit the spread of imported fire ant spreads by enforcing the quarantine.

Items regulated by the Federal Imported Fire Ant Quarantine include:

• Imported fire ant queens and reproducing colonies of imported fire ants.

• Soil, separately or with other things, except soil samples shipped to approved laboratories. Potting soil is exempt if commercially prepared, packaged, and shipped in original container.

• Plants with roots and soil attached, except house plants maintained indoors and not for sale.

• Grass sod.

• Baled hay and straw that has been stored in contact with soil.

• Used soil-moving equipment.

• Any other products, articles, or means of conveyance of any character whatsoever not covered by the above, when it is determined by an inspector that they present a hazard of spread of the imported fire ant and the person in possession thereof has been so notified.

Additional imported fire ant quarantine information is available by contacting a county extension agent.

News, Pages 10 on 11/18/2009

Print Headline: Arkansas County added to federal fire ant quarantine

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