Major operation to stop fire ants underway on Gold Coast

A major fire ant baiting program is set to get underway on the Gold Coast after the creepy crawlies were found at Hope Island, Helensvale, Labrador and Southport earlier this year.

The program, which involves bait being distributed by helicopters and ground crews along the Brisbane-Gold Coast corridor, is set to kick off this month following an intensive surveillance and community engagement campaign across the city.

Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said targeted areas include those that are “especially attractive” to fire ants, such as open land with disturbed soil where housing development is underway.


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“The bait treatment will run from September 2018 through to May 2019, weather permitting,” Ms Scanlon said.

“We will be communicating with people who live or work in the treatment area, as crews may require access to private properties to spread fire ant bait.”

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner said the Fire ant bait treatment involves spreading non-toxic bait.

“The bait is made from corn grit soaked with an insect growth regulator and is not harmful to humans or animals,” he said.

“The bait does not kill the ants but sterilises the queen ant, and when she can no longer produce worker ants the colony dies out.”

It’s understood fire ants can impact severely on people’s health and wellbeing, as well as the environment and economy.

To find out more about the treatment program, to report fire ants or for more information, visit daf.qld.gov.au/fireants or call 13 25 23.