Officials Inspect Red Fire Ants Spotted at Incheon Port

Write : 2018-07-07 14:29:23 Update : 2018-07-07 14:29:38

Officials Inspect Red Fire Ants Spotted at Incheon Port

A joint government and civic inspection is under way on Saturday following the discovery of red fire ants at an outdoor storage area at Incheon Port on Friday.

The Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency said the inspections were carried out by related government agencies including the Environment Ministry as well as civic experts.

Officials are investigating how wide spread the ant nests are and the number of ants that are able to reproduce such as queen ants, princess ants and male ants.

The quarantine agency said that around 70 worker ants were found in concrete cracks at Incheon Port's container terminal storage yard on Friday.

It's the fourth time the invasive pests have been spotted at an outdoor storage site since the first discovery last September in the port city of Busan and at Pyeongtaek Port last month. 

The fire ants were also discovered inside container cargo on two other occasions.

Red fire ants have a toxic sting that can cause an allergic reaction and, in severe cases, death. Their numbers can grow explosively and therefore an early stage response is very important.

They are seen as an insect that disturbs the ecosystem.

In the U.S., their damage to livestock amounts to six trillion won a year.

[Photo : KBS News]

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