Queensland Farmers Battling Fire Ant Plague

The latest eradication program introduced by Biosecurity Queensland might not be as promising as it sounds. According to a farmer based in Ipswich, he is losing faith with the recent scheme because despite efforts, fire ant nests continue to spread. This is already causing alarm to companies offering pest control in Brisbane including local residents who are in the western part of the city.

The new scheme launched by Biosecurity Queensland is called the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program which started in 2001. This was introduced at a time when the invasive pest was discovered in Port of Brisbane. It is considered to be a pressing matter because the sting of a fire ant is not only painful but also fatal to humans.

Data shows that fire ant nests have already been found in the southeastern part of Queensland going to Lockyer Valley and it has already reached the Gold Coast. Areas where the nests were found were already treated using bait that makes the queens of the fire ants colony unable to reproduce.

A farmer from Ipswich, Jon Carmichael, said that his property located in Willowbank has turned out to be a breeding ground for the fire ants as thousands of nests are discovered and continues to grow. He forwarded his concern after hearing that the eradication program was not handled properly according to the regulatory officer who used to work at Biosecurity Queensland.

He is worried that if they proper treatment is not applied against the fire ants, they will continue to build more nest and re-infest other areas nearby. He said that this is not the first insect he has encountered therefore he understands the importance of treating things as soon as possible to be on top of it all.

His property has a swamp which has become a breeding ground for the pests but it was only treated three times by aerial baiting and no follow-ups since then. He is worried that this is not something pest control in Brisbane could handle because of the technology required and the severity of the case which is not easy if hand-baiting is to be applied.

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