As if colonies comprised of millions of fiery Argentine ants, carpenter ants, pavement ants, Pharaoh, or thief ants weren’t already a full plate for Canadian homeowners, a non-native species – more aggressive and potentially dangerous to humans, pets, and livestock – has been making its way into our country. The European fire ant, Myrmica rubra, a common species of red ants found all over Europe and in some parts of Asia, has first been spotted in British Columbia in 2010 and has since been reported in several regions in Richmond, Ontario, Burnaby
, Toronto, Victoria, North Vancouver, and Courtenay. Although they share the same name, they are only distant relatives of the “real” fire ants of the Solenopsis species.
Despite their similarity to native species in appearance, experts warn that the European fire ants are more difficult to kill and can deliver a vicious sting to both humans and animals even without being provoked.