Evan Cordingley installs another fire ant sign.
Evan Cordingley installs another fire ant sign. Rob Williams

Fire ants take to the water

THE threat of floating fire ants riding flood waters to dry ground in Ipswich might be minimal but Biosecuity Queensland is warning residents to keep an eye out for the pests.

Biosecurity Queensland Control Centre director Neil O’Brien said fire ants are known to join together during moderate floods to form rafts and float on top of the water until they reach dry land.

But he said analysis of fire ant spread in flood prone areas shows no evidence of spread caused by rafting.

“The likelihood of fire ant movement during the recent flooding is minimal as the flood waters would have risen quickly and been fast flowing,” Mr O’Brien said.

“For undetected colonies, if there was rafting in these areas it most likely would have resulted only in localised movement.”

Biosecurity Queensland has recently granted short term approvals for landowners to move flood waste containing fire ant restricted material without the need for completing a declaration or requesting a property inspection.

To reduce the possibility of spread, all residents are being asked to dispose of waste through an approved waste disposal system.

Biosecurity Queensland is working with councils to ensure all disposal sites will be treated for fire ants in the coming months.

Mr O’Brien said places of concern in Ipswich include areas of Yamanto, Lanefield, Ashwell, Purga and Rosewood.

Infestations have also been confirmed at Tallegalla, Walloon and Mt Marrow, in addition to the heavily infested property discovered at Marburg in 2010.

There are no known fire ant infestations in Lockyer Valley Council or Somerset Council areas.

Small infestations were found in the Scenic Rim Council area in 2010 at Harrisville, Milora and Peak Crossing.

The infestations were immediately destroyed and no further fire ants have been found in those areas.

The most outlying detections have been at Grandchester and Mt Mort in 2010.

Mr O’Brien said these areas were destroyed and no further finds have been made in those areas.

For more information on fire ants or report any infestations, click here or call 13 25 23.

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