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



The best op shop in Ipswich? Here's what you think

PRICEY? QT readers are not happy with op shops in Ipswich.

Are there any good op shops left in Ipswich?

Former minister claims he voluntarily stopped abusing boy

Retired Uniting Church Minister Barry Dangerfield (right) arrives at Brisbane District Court.

Barry Dangerfield charged with multiple counts of indecent dealing

Iconic Ipswich pub now number one in Queensland

PA Hotel owners Mary-Anne and Clive Johnson are pleased to have been awarded the Queensland Hotels Association 2016 Hotel of the Year.

It's official - Ipswich is home to the best pub in Queensland

Local Partners

Lady Gaga confirms Super Bowl show

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga to perform in coveted spot

Girls actors give emotional tributes to hit show

Actor Allison Williams

Actors farewell smash hit HBO show Girls after six seasons

Janet Jackson's pregnancy is 'best thing'

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson can't wait to become a mum

Jay Z signs two-year movie and TV deal

Rapper Jay Z

Rapper Jay Z has signed a television and movie deal

Nowhere to Hyde: Matt Nable is Australia's man in demand

Matt Nable stars as Detective Gary Hyde in the TV series Hyde & Seek.

NABLE returns to the small screen amidst busy film work.

Things to do around Ipswich this weekend

The Ipswich Orchid Society Garden Spectacular is this weekend.

Things to do around Ipswich

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets