Ornamental plants that stay green in the winter can be aesthetically pleasing additions to office spaces, coffee shops and foyers. Sitting next to a Florida palm tree can trigger memories of a tropical vacation. What could go wrong?
Inspectors in Delaware found Red Imported Fire Ants in shipments of palm trees from Florida. Far from inducing relaxation, fire ants can cause painful stings and severe allergic reactions in some individuals. Shipping nursery stock in pots from fire ant infested areas requires inspection and certification. The regulation is in place to prevent the spread of fire ants to other parts of the US and to protect unsuspecting customers from buying a pest control problem.
Delaware authorities are treating the infestation to eradicate the fire ants before they can spread and cause harm. They encourage buyers of plants to inspect for pests. It is best to find fire ants before they find you. Many people complain about regulations being costly and time consuming. However, not following regulations can end in a more painful bite.