Preliminary results taken after the first round of treatment in May this year in the Mt Peter and Edmonton areas have indicated a decline in yellow crazy ant numbers from anywhere between 63 to 85 percent depending on the site.
“A drop in crazy ant numbers is good news but the war is not won yet,” said Wet Tropics Management Authority executive director, Andrew Maclean.
“Without ongoing and effective treatment, and hopefully eventual eradication, populations and infestations will thrive once again. Such is the nature of this severe environmental pest.”
The third and final aerial treatment for 2014 took place in mid November over forested areas, cane paddocks and other more open areas.
The yellow crazy ant field operations team continue to work tirelessly on the ground treating residential properties and creek frontages by hand before the weather turns monsoonal.
Mr Maclean said a successful treatment program before the wet season sets in will be essential to control current yellow crazy ant infestations.
“The operations team is focussing on treating areas around creeks at the moment because this has been shown to be one of the main ways the ants get spread during the wet season. They get washed downstream on debris or form ‘rafts’ by clumping together and float down.”
All treatment is dependent on weather. The bait granules need to be applied when conditions are dry and for best results at least 24 hours of fine weather is needed after the bait is distributed for the worker ants to take it down into the nests and spread it throughout the colony.
“Staff and volunteers have been working hard to access residential properties, navigate thick rainforest scrub and coordinate aerial treatments to treat infestations as quickly and effectively as possible.
“We would like to thank the residents in infested areas for their cooperation so far, but we ask that you remain vigilant to ensure infestations are not spread further.
“Take all green waste to council waste transfer stations where it is monitored for yellow crazy ants and electric ants. Illegal dumping of green waste, timber and rubbish from around the yard greatly increases the risk of spreading yellow crazy ants.
“If you live in a yellow crazy ant treatment area and are moving house, contact the Authority or Biosecurity Queensland for a free inspection of pot plants, outdoor furniture and other potential risk items,” Mr Maclean added.