Skip to main content
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA FAQ's and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).  LEARN MORE

Expansion of Quarantine Areas for the Imported Fire Ant (Solenopis invicta Buren, S. richteri Forel, and hybrids of these species) in North Carolina and Tennessee

October 14, 2021

To: State and Territory Agricultural Regulatory Officials 

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is issuing a Federal Order that expands the existing imported fire ant (IFA) quarantine areas in North Carolina and Tennessee. APHIS is taking this action to prevent the interstate spread of IFA. 

The following list describes the action in this Federal Order:

  • North Carolina: Extends the IFA quarantine area to the entire county for Alamance, Burke, Guilford, Jackson, and McDowell Counties.
  • Tennessee: Extends the IFA quarantine area to the entire county for Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Gibson, Grainger, Henry, Lauderdale, Montgomery, Putnam, Smith, Stewart, Sumner, Trousdale, and Weakley Counties. 

APHIS is taking these actions based upon verification from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Consumer and Industry Services that IFA is present and established in the areas listed. 

For additional information on the Federal IFA regulatory program, please contact the IFA National Policy Manager, Herbert Bolton, at (301) 851-3594 or

Dr. Osama El-Lissy
Deputy Administrator
Plant Protection and Quarantine

Attachment: Federal Order

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit

Complementary Content