Recent national media coverage claiming that Australia has lost the war against one of the world’s most invasive pests is not true.
The truth is that our program is on track to rid our country of the ‘super pest’ once and for all.
Just two years into the program’s 10-year plan, residents in Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and parts of Ipswich City local government area are telling us the strategy is working.
Our eyes on the ground are telling us our efforts to eradicate fire ants in the west of Brisbane are paying off. This is positive news for the program, for Queensland and for Australia.
There is also scientific evidence that the treatment is weakening genetic diversity of the ants, increasing the pressure on this pest.
The program’s finite resources over ten years are focussed on eradication strategies, working from west to east — from the western boundary of the infestation, through Ipswich, Logan and ending in Redlands.
Best available advice to the program indicated the strategy moving from west to east, taking a systematic approach, would give us the best chance of eradicating the pest from our backyards once and for all.
Containment strategies are in place on the other boundaries, and suppression methods are used elsewhere within the operational boundary to minimise the spread of fire ants until eradication strategies can be applied.
Since the program began, Australia has eradicated five separate incursions of fire ants, including a population spread over 8,000 hectares at the Port of Brisbane. As the world’s largest eradication of any ant species continues, the eyes of the world are on Australia.
We understand that’s little comfort to those residents across South East Queensland who see fire ants in their backyards and neighbourhoods, but we haven’t forgotten about you.
To some in the suburbs not currently the focus of eradication, fire ant populations will be increasing. This is expected and reports from the community are vitally important to allow us to prioritise our suppression treatments in your area.
Without the efforts of our program, fire ants could be north to Mackay, south to Sydney and west to Charleville by now.
National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program
10-year fire ant eradication plan
We are now in the second year of our comprehensive 10-year eradication plan to find, contain and eradicate fire ants in South East Queensland.
We have almost completed bait treatment along the western boundary of the fire ant containment area in the Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and parts of the Ipswich local government area and our efforts to eradicate the ‘super pest’ appear to be paying off. Residents in the area are telling us “there used to be fire ants, now there are none.”
We are supported by a National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program (SEQ) steering committee which provides guidance and support, and monitors our progress against targets to ensure we are successful.
Listen to what our farmers out west have to say: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4xYNpQ38tI