In the United States, it is illegal to ship regulated ants across state lines without a permit. Every species of regulated ant shipped has to be listed on the permit, which are per state. Pogonomyrmex occidentalis is not regulated and does not require a permit.
At Ant Gear, we have USDA permits for ants in many states, mostly in the Southwest. Our ant product pages list the states we are permitted to ship to for the ant species you are looking to buy.
Why do ants need permits?
It’s because the USDA considers ants to be plant pests and they want to restrict movement of these pests to different states that don’t already have them. Having these laws in place helps prevent accidental release.
Why don’t you have a permit for the ant species I want?
We have to apply for the permit and we have noticed that if the ant species isn’t native in the state, it will not get approved. If you know the species is native in your state and we don’t have it listed, please let us know! We will do some research to double-check and then we can file for an amendment to our permit for your state. It often takes a short time (less than a month) to have a permit amended.
Do I need to have a permit in order to buy ants from Ant Gear?
No, you don’t need a permit to buy ants from us. If we have a permit for the species of ant you want to buy in your state, we will ship it to you, no problem. If you attempt to buy a species that we don’t have a permit for, your order will not go through.
Are there any restrictions or rules I have to follow?
Yes, the USDA requests that you follow these two rules: 1) Don’t sell or give the ants to someone else, 2) Follow APHIS disposal instructions when you are ready to dispose of the ants. We will ship a copy of our permit for your state to you with the ants, and also include the disposal instructions.
How can I find out more about the permits?
You can visit the USDA plant pest website here.