Fire ants may even cause a decline in native species, though their tendency to move into areas that humans have already influenced could mean they get blamed for our own destructive behaviors. They made their way throughout the southern states after humans replaced natural landscape with non-native plants and materials. "We find fire ants in places where we humans have unknowingly created perfect conditions for them," says Wild. "Any time you water your lawn, you create a fire ant welcome mat." But research suggests that the invasive Solenopsis invicta has affected native fire ant species, some reptiles, and birds that nest on the ground, such as quail.