Scientists discovered red fire ants, called Solenopsis invicta, in Europe for the first time. These aggressive ants from South America are causing concerns due to their painful stings and environmental harm. In Sicily, Italy, researchers found 88 ant nests, marking the first European colony, likely arriving via a busy port. Genetic tests suggest they came from the United States or China. About 7% of Europe, including major cities, has a suitable climate for these ants. Scientists worry about their spread, highlighting the urgent issue of invasive species, which cost $423 billion globally each year and lead to species extinction, food security threats, and environmental crises, as shown in a recent United Nations report.

This discovery is important because invasive species cost a lot of money every year. It’s a huge $423 billion! They make plants and animals disappear, and they also make it hard to get enough food. These problems make the environment worse, which is something the United Nations has been talking about lately.