The state of Mississippi has a number of resources available, including the National Center for Physical Acoustics (UM), the Remote Sensing and Technology Center (MSU), Extension Service (MSU), USDA/ARS (Starkville), USDA/ARS (Stoneville), Entomology and Plant Pathology Department (MSU), and the Imported Fire Ant Laboratory USDA/APHIS/PPQ (Gulfport). An Imported Fire Ant Area-Wide Management Team to be comprised of these state and federal agencies, and university partners will develop area-wide programs for urban and rural areas in Mississippi.
The geographic range of the imported fire ant continues to expand and now encompasses over 300 million acres in the United States. Current control programs have proven successful, but they typically provide no sustainable solution because the ant re-invades treated areas. Furthermore, most control programs do not prevent the spread of the imported fire ant as evidenced by the increasing area infested by the imported fire ant in the past 25 years. A pro-active area-wide program needs to be developed to suppress imported fire ant populations and to deter the spread of infestations.