FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ It appears that colonies of biting fire ants may be on the decline in Florida.
The South Florida SunSentinel reports (http://sunsent.nl/GN5xmu ) reports that scientists have documented a sharp drop in fire ant mounds in suburban Broward County.
Studies in other parts of the state also show a decline in both the ants and queens.
Many pest control companies also report a drop in calls about fire ants.
Over the next two months U.S. Agriculture Department scientists will be canvassing fire ant sites across Florida and Georgia to inspect their numbers and size.
Fire ants are not native to Florida.
In addition to their stinging bites, fire ants are able to kill other animals and damage such things as electrical equipment.
It’s estimated they cause $600 million in damage every year.