GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) _ Delaware nursery inspectors discovered imported red fire ants when they visited a Sussex County garden center for a routine check of palm trees trucked in from Florida in recent weeks.

The live ants were destroyed, but state agriculture officials are urging Delaware residents to inspect tropical plants carefully before buying them. The Delaware Department of Agriculture is advising other businesses and buyers of tropical nursery stock about the discovery.

Officials say fire ants are aggressive and pack a nasty sting. In some especially sensitive people, that sting can lead to serious allergic reactions including anaphylactic shock.