Eradication costs calculated: Red imported fire ants threaten agriculture, wildlife and homes
California Agriculture 56(1):26-34. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v056n01p26.
The red imported fire ant, a pest newly introduced into California, threatens households, agriculture and wildlife. This study estimates the costs and benefits of a public program to eradicate the ants. The results show that almost all agricultural activities would be affected should the ants become established; however, households would incur the majority of costs. The total estimated cost if red imported fire ants become established would be between $387 million and $989 million per year in California. Given current funding levels for eradication of red imported fire ants, for the expected benefits to be at least as great as the expected costs, the probability of successfully eradicating the ants needs to be at least 0.65% if the annual costs of establishment are $989 million and 1.67% if they are $387 million.