THE work is done in central Queensland for this senior dog handler.

Justin Gibson and his dogs, Olivia, Mikey and Willow, have put their noses to the test searching for fire ants - a pest from South America with a painful sting.

The ants were first found in Yarwun in 2006 and again in 2013.

But Mr Gibson has been part of a 40-strong team of locals working tirelessly to eradicate the ant by tracking their pheromones.

The dogs are rewarded for their work with play, not food.

Gladstone has been declared free of fire ants after there were no signs of fire ants found during surveillance for the pest in Yarwun, Targinie and Curtis Island.



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