The fire ant is a tough and fierce creature that originated in South America but has unfortunately found its way to Australia. Its proper name gives a clue to its tenacity, Solenopsis invicta, with invicta meaning not easy to overcome, and this has proved tragically true here in Australia.
Fire ants were first found here in February 2001 and the infestation has been centred on Brisbane. Fire ants are about half a centimetre long and are red in colour and have dome shaped mounds with no visible openings. They are vicious and will aggressively sting people.
We are at the tipping point with the fire ant problem here, if we do not eradicate them in the next few years then they will have gained a permanent foothold on this continent and our lives will be the poorer for it. Not only will they make outdoor life for us far less pleasant but they will damage our crops and decimate our endemic wildlife. If you think that you have found a nest then you should report it to the authorities immediately. Also, if you are ever transporting soil or plant material anywhere you need to inspect everything extremely thoroughly to make sure there are no fire ants.
We need to act today to secure tomorrow.
How To Get Rid Of Fire Ants:
Brisbane has been the point of entry for these fire ants and it is up to all of us to stop them before they spread across the whole continent, so how do you get rid of fire ants?
First things first, you should call the authorities as they are desperately trying to prevent this menace from becoming a permanent blot on our landscape. However, you may need to act quickly, in which case you need to first identify the nest and fence it off as best you can to keep children and pets away. Next you need to choose your weapon.
Some people will prefer an organic method of killing, while others are happy to go for something a bit more toxic. Now remember that whatever technique you choose, you do not want to disturb the nest much or get too close as they will attack. One of the least invasive and most effective methods of killing them is to use ant bait, letting them carry the poison back into their nest.
Whatever you do, be careful and do a thorough job.