2 May 2014
The Wet Tropics Management Authority and its key partners will be starting treatment of yellow crazy ants (Anoploepis gracilipes) in the Mt Peter, Bentley Park and Russett Park areas over the next four weeks.
Aerial baiting by helicopter will treat yellow crazy ant infestations in non-residential areas in the vicinity of Bentley Park and Mt Peter over the next two weeks (weather permitting). While ground baiting treatment in infested residential areas in the suburbs of Bentley Park, Mt Peter and Russett Park will be starting from 5 May for approximately four weeks (weather permitting).
Wet Tropics Management Authority executive director Andrew Maclean said “Yellow crazy ants are one of the world’s 100 worst invasive species and are a serious threat not just to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area but also the lifestyle of residents in affected areas.”
This is the first of a series of treatments which is part of the five-year Wet Tropics yellow crazy ant eradication program funded by the Australian Government,” said Mr Maclean.
“The program has moved into a very crucial phase after monitoring and research efforts by Conservation Volunteers and James Cook University have now established when the most effective times are to target this menace to our lifestyle and natural environment.
Timing is critical. Treatments are timed when the queen ants are the most susceptible to the insecticides. It is important we understand the biology and breeding cycle of the yellow crazy ant to ensure treatments are as effective as possible.
Helicopters will be used to deliver baits across sugarcane paddocks and about 20ha of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Residential areas will be treated by qualified pest controllers using hand-held spreaders. These same treatments have been used to successfully treat yellow crazy ants on Christmas Island and areas of Arnhem Land,” Mr Maclean said
Project manager Lucy Karger said “the Authority and its partners in the yellow crazy ant eradication program are calling upon landholders in the infestation area to be especially vigilant. Preventing spread is critical while eradication efforts are underway otherwise it could compromise the whole eradication effort.”
“We are asking land holders affected by yellow crazy ants for their cooperation in the coming weeks as it is essential we are able to visit and treat all properties within the infestation area.
We do ask landholders to contact the Authority before embarking on a private baiting program to ensure it complements our existing eradication program,” Ms Karger said.
Early detection is vital. Landholders can contact the Wet Tropics Management Authority on 4241 0500 for advice and assistance.
The Authority is coordinating the Wet Tropics yellow crazy ant eradication program in collaboration with landholders, Conservation Volunteers, James Cook University, Biosecurity Queensland, FNQ Regional Organisation of Councils, Cairns Regional Council, QPWS and CSIRO.
More information about yellow crazy ants can be found here