Fire ant plague in Ipswich

ALMOST half of the fire ant-infested properties Biosecurity Queensland found this financial year are in Ipswich.

Biosecurity Queensland Control Centre director Neil O’Brien said Biosecurity Queensland was still finding fire ants in the Ipswich area.

He said they included those as far west as Grandchester, up to Tallegalla and Walloon, down to Mutdapilly, as well as in One Mile and Raceview, Purga and Rosewood.

“Some of these detections were single colonies – meaning they were found in time for us to prevent spread – and some had many hundreds of colonies, meaning they had been there for some time,” he said.

Tivoli resident Leigh Boileau said he was “astounded” after getting a letter from Biosecurity Queensland about fire ants.

“The letter said there was a possibility of fire ant infestation in neighbouring areas,” Mr Boileau said.

“I called Biosecurity Queensland and the lady in charge pointed me to a website that shows the infestations, and it’s amazing. There are fire ants all over Ipswich.”

Mr O’Brien said suspect ants and nests must be reported immediately if fire ants were to be contained.

He said high-risk materials must not be disturbed or moved without following regulations to ensure that if ants are present, they are not accidentally spread.

“Biosecurity Queensland is working with landholders and Ipswich City Council to eradicate these infestations, but everybody has a responsibility to report suspect ants and nests and to comply with movement controls,” he said.

“Biosecurity Queensland has a full-time community engagement officer dedicated to working with stakeholders in Ipswich to improve community and industry awareness of fire ants and participation in the eradication program.”

For more information on fire ants, check Queensland Biodiversity's website.

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