Biosecurity Queensland officers inspect bait-affected fire ant nests in Yarwun.
Biosecurity Queensland officers inspect bait-affected fire ant nests in Yarwun. DAFF

Bait bombardment expected to wipe out fire ants

THE Yarwun fire ant population has taken a beating over the past year after being subjected to four rounds of bait treatment, which under normal conditions would not leave any survivors.

Biosecurity Queensland fire ant communication and stakeholder engagement manager Anthony Wright said scientific modelling of ant populations suggested four rounds of bait treatment was sufficient to knock out the Yarwun infestation.

"The National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program is going the extra mile to ensure fire ants are completely wiped out," Mr Wright said.

"With two more rounds of baiting scheduled, we can all feel more confident that we have got every last one of them.

"After the sixth round of aerial bait treatment, our fire ant chief scientist and odour detection dog team will come back to Gladstone to confirm there are no survivors.

"Just over 80 nests have been found across nine sites since the first detection in December 2013.

"We are confident of full eradication of fire ants from Gladstone by June 2016," he said.

The fifth round of aerial baiting will begin on Saturday, and will target the fire ant restricted area encompassing Yarwun, Targinnie and Curtis Island.

Fire ants are aggressive, swarm when their nest is disturbed, and can inflict a painful sting.

They threaten agriculture, our outdoor lifestyle and stop children from playing safely in their backyards.

Fire ants can be found in or on high-risk materials, which include:

  • construction and landscaping materials
  • soil, sand and pot plants
  • mulch and green waste
  • baled hay and straw
  • machinery and earthmoving equipment.

For more information on the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program visit www.daff.qld.gov.au/fireants or call 13 25 23.



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