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Invasive fire ants spread across Europe for the first time

The red fire ant, Solenopsis Invicta, has been identified across 88 ant nests spread over 12 acres in the city of Syracuse, Italy.

The invasive non-native ant species is thought to have spread from the US or China. Now established in Italy, studies warn of its rapid spread through Europe and the UK as it is one of the most invasive and destructive species.

The red fire ant has a ravenous appetite, with the ability to destroy crops and known to pose a risk to native ecosystems, farming, and human health.

With a painful sting, injecting venom to its victim if disturbed, they can rapidly form “super colonies” with multiple queens.

The red fire ant is the fifth most costly invasive species in the world. It is able to live in urban environments using concrete to build their nests under.

Causing structural issues with buildings, these ants have also been known to attack electrical equipment after being shocked.

The EU has banned the export of soil from the UK.

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