Infestation of deadly fire ants at QLD industrial site

Biosecurity Queensland (BQ) will attempt to rid an industrial site in Yarwun of an infestation of deadly fire ants this week.

The Gladstone Observer reports that the exotic ants were photographed by the site manger of the facility in Queensland who then reported their existence to authorities at BQ.

It is not known if the ants are part of a colony that was thought to be eradicated back in 2006 or if they are part of a new colony. However, genetic testing will be able to answer this question.

Commenting on the situation, BQ Control Centre head Craig Jennings said, “We have teams on the ground conducting surveillance to determine the extent of the infestation and make sure there’s been no further spread.”

“We currently have teams travelling to the site to treat the nests and bait the immediate area.

“If you get stung the ants are very aggressive, they send a chemical signal and they all sting repeatedly.”

Fire ants are originally from Argentina. They were first discovered in Brisbane in 2001 and have since made it to other locations in the state. So far, attempts to eradicate them have been unsuccessful, despite concerted efforts.

Image: Brisbane Times

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