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Fire Ants on the March – Nests Discovered in North Brisbane

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Brisbane’s fire ant problem has crossed the river and is spreading across Brisbane’s north side.  Previously, fire ants were most commonly found by inspectors in Brisbane’s southwest, with major infestations in the Doolandella, Acacia Ridge, Greater Ipswich and Logan areas.  Fire ant activity has been on the rise at Lytton, and now, Pinkenba, directly across the Brisbane river has had 43 reported Fire Ant infestations in the last 12 months.  Brisbane’s industrial north shore, stretching from Pinkenba to the airport reports a total of 106 fire ant infestations, as the dangerous pest marches north.

Fire ants could be greatly underreported

Around 90% of the confirmed fire ant nests on Brisbane’s north side are on public land.  These nests are most commonly discovered and identified by the Queensland Government Fire Ant Initiative.  Government agencies fear that there could be a significant number of fire ants in north Brisbane backyards, currently undetected. 

How do I know if there are fire ants in my backyard?

There are six very common “sub-families” of ants in Brisbane, ranging from harmless members of the local ecosystem to the pesky “green head ants” known as green ants, that pack a nasty bite.  Each ant species has its own nesting type and some will not respond to common pesticides. 

“The issue with Fire Ants is that they can be indistinguishable from other common species to the naked eye.  Invading fire ants are just 2-6 mms long, a reddish brown and are commonly mistaken for the much larger species, meat ants.” Said Keith Jacobs, certified fire ant exterminator, north Brisbane. “I think because fire ants are so dangerous, people assume them to be big, they’re not, they’re deceptively small.”

Queensland’s biosecurity agencies are urging north Brisbane residents to check their yards for signs of fire ants.  Nests resemble dome shaped piles of disturbed soil.  They can be any size and are easy to miss.  Once disturbed, the fire ants will rapidly relocate.  Do not touch the nest. If you have a confirmed infestation on your property, you are legally obliged to report it immediately.  If in doubt, get a certified pest controller out who will confirm the presence of fire ants and take immediate action to eradicate them. 

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