Fire ant treatment and surveillance activities extend over weekends

News release | 11-Apr-2018

Fire ant treatment and surveillance in selected areas will continue over coming weekends to ensure this round of baiting and monitoring is finished before winter.

Biosecurity Queensland’s National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program (Fire ant program) General Manager Mr John Jordan said recent above average rainfall around south east Queensland had delayed some treatment activities.

“It’s imperative that we continue our eradication treatment and take advantage of as many sunny days as we can,” Mr Jordan said.

“Residents in the Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, Somerset, and Ipswich can expect to see our staff in their neighbourhoods undertaking important activities such as distributing fire ant bait and conducting surveillance.”

Fire ant bait treatment involves distributing a granulated bait over lawns, garden beds and other open areas either by foot, all-terrain vehicle or by helicopter.

The method varies depending on the size of each property and accessibility. Officers use hand held spreaders on residential blocks and ATVs are used on larger properties.

Fire ant program officers are authorised to enter properties to undertake fire ant treatment. They will be clearly identifiable and will not need to enter your house or buildings.

If officers cannot gain access to your property, they will leave a notice requesting that you make access available within the specified timeframe.

Mr Jordan said for treatment to have the best chance of success, residents whose properties had been treated should ensure that they do not water, mow, or disturb their lawns, gardens or paddocks for 48 hours after application.

“This will give foraging fire ants time to collect the bait,” he said.

“The active ingredient in the bait breaks down in a couple of days.

“Residents and business operators are encouraged to check their properties and work sites, and report suspect ants and nests to Biosecurity Queensland.

“It’s essential that residents and businesses continue to support the program, as early detection means any fire ant colonies can be treated before they have a chance to spread.

“We need the community to help by being our eyes on the ground, as everyone knows their property best.”

To check if movement controls apply to you for fire ant carriers such as soil, turf, mulch, hay and manure, visit daf.qld.gov.au/fireants

Fire ants vary in size, between 2–6 millimetres, are coppery-brown with a dark abdomen, are aggressive and inflict a painful sting.

Fire ant nests look like mounds of loose soil with no obvious entry or exit holes.

Fire ants have the potential to devastate the economy, environment and our way of life.

For more information on fire ants or to report suspect fire ants visit daf.qld.gov.au/fireants or call 13 25 23.

Media contact: Mark Hodder, P: 3087 8598 M: 0421 618 871