News

Fire ant fight targeting threatened agriculture

GROUND ZERO: People inspect a fire ant nest after a demonstration in Laidley South to show how the nests are destroyed.
GROUND ZERO: People inspect a fire ant nest after a demonstration in Laidley South to show how the nests are destroyed. Rob Williams

THOSE on the frontline of the fight against fire ants are battling the pests in rural areas where the potential for harm is highest.

Fire ants can significantly affect the agriculture industry with baby animals particularly vulnerable to attacks that can lead to death.

Young animals have also been stung in and around the eyes, which can lead to blindness and around the mouth and nose, which can lead to swelling and suffocation. Fire ants also invade animals' food and water supplies; unable to reach the food or water without being seriously stung, they can starve or dehydrate.

Fire ants sometimes feed on seeds, and can fatally damage plants by tunnelling through roots and stems.

Yesterday, a demonstration of direct injecting fire ant nests was conducted at Laidley by the Biosecurity Queensland Control Centre.

Director Mike Ashton said it involved injecting the mound with a spear rod that injects a knock down chemical called fipronil.

"The perimeter is treated first so all escape tunnels are closed, then the centre is treated to flood the chambers. The surface of the mound is then showered," Mr Ashton said. "The area around the nest is also treated with a corn grit bait containing an insect growth regulator."

The fire ant eradication program started in 2001.

"Of four known incursions into Queensland since that time, two have been eradicated (one in Brisbane and one in Gladstone)," Mr Ashton said.

"The two remaining incursions were discovered in the south western suburbs of Brisbane in 2001 and in Yarwun, Gladstone in 2013. A number of small outlying infestations are located in Ipswich, Logan, Redlands, Scenic Rim and Lockyer Valley.

"Hay production and shipments are of particular concern in the Lockyer Valley region, as bailed hay provides a perfect nesting environment for fire ants.

"Biosecurity Queensland conducts training sessions for individuals and businesses that operate within the fire ant restricted area and deal with restricted items."

To report any suspect ants, phone 132 523 or visit daff.qld.gov.au/fireants.

Fire ant facts

  • Small 2-6 mm.
  • Variety of sizes within each nest
  • Head and body are coppery-brown, abdomen is darker.
  • Aggressive, particularly near the nest.
  • Can inflict a painful sting.

Topics:  biosecurity queensland fire ants



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

STABBING: Man rushed to hospital with chest wound

Police at the scene of an apparent stabbing at Redbank Plains this afternoon

Police investigate apparent domestic incident

Two in hospital after crash - at hospital

Reports driver may have blacked out before collision

Woman's $27k property crime spree

Ipswich Police Station and Courthouse. Photo: David Nielsen / The Queensland Times

She targeted homes she knew had valuable items inside

Local Partners

Chris Pratt fell asleep while babysitting

Chris Pratt revealed he fell asleep during babysitting duties

Kylie Minogue: I want to get married soon

Pop star Kylie Minogue has revealed she hopes to get married soon

Amanda Seyfried lets slip the sex of her baby

Amanda Seyfried has suggested the sex of her baby

Meet the Brisbane breakfast radio king's replacement

Craig Zonca ABC Radio

ABC announces Craig Zonca as the replacement for Spencer Howson

How predictable are your Netflix habits?

Stranger Things is taking the world by storm as a new-age nostalgic Sci-Fi Thriller

The new entertainment binging pattern

Kanye West is on the mend now he's back from hospital

Kanye West is more relaxed since returning home from hospital

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

REVEALED: Timeline for CBD redevelopment

The new redevelopment of the CBD will take place in stages.

Lindsay gives the good oil on when the work will begin

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

PHOTOS: World class CBD to lift Ipswich

An artist's impressions of the future Ipswich city mall.

Grand plans to transform city heart unveiled today

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!