51 Ipswich suburbs fire ant hotspots

A NEW fire ant declaration by the state government lists 51 Ipswich suburbs stretching from Springfield west to Calvert as high risk restricted fire ant areas.

Another 25 Ipswich suburbs are listed as low risk restricted areas.

Calvert and Lanefield have moved from the low risk to high risk restricted area and Haigslea which was previously free of restrictions has moved into the low risk restricted area.

Fire ants were first discovered in Australia at Wacol and the Port of Brisbane in February 2001.

Goodna councillor Paul Tully recalls the discovery of the fire ants 15 years ago with parks around Ipswich closed and householders forced to protect their children. Cr Tully said one Goodna family with two young children was trapped in their home with over 200 fire ant nests in their yard.

In the United States, people have died from fire ant stings and large areas of farmland have become unusable because of widespread fire ant infestations.

The commonwealth and state governments have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to eradicate the pest with partial success.

"Public interest in the fire ant has diminished over the years and many people would no longer be able to identify them,"Cr Tully said.

There is a fire ant display at Cr Tully's office at 18 Queen St, Goodna for the public to see what they look like and collect brochures.



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