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Japan goes to war against invasive fire ants

Container ship stowaways survive winters far from their native South America

A fire ant is found in Hyogo Prefecture in August 2017. Japan is struggling to control the spread of the invasive species. (Photo by Kento Awashima)

TOKYO -- Venomous fire ants that hitched rides to Japan aboard container ships are surviving the winters and multiplying to such an extent that nursery school staff are being trained to spot the potentially deadly invaders.

In October, more than 50 queen ants were detected at a container terminal at the Port of Tokyo. The discovery of so many queens suggests anthills built in places away from the terminal.

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