Treatment aims to eradicate Yellow Crazy Ants

Date published: 1 October 2021

Townsville City Council hopes a final treatment being applied to a Yellow Crazy Ant infestation in Douglas this month will eradicate the pest from the area.

Yellow Crazy Ants are a critical biosecurity priority for Council and staff are working to destroy the known infestations throughout the southern suburbs.

Community Health, Safety and Environmental Sustainability Committee chairperson Maurie Soars said Yellow Crazy Ants are listed as one of the world’s worst invasive species.

“Townsville has five known infestations of Yellow Crazy Ants, and we have an eradication program that is ongoing to stop them from spreading and to eradicate these existing colonies,” Cr Soars said.

“Staff will begin the last of three treatments of the primary infestation in Douglas next week and will continue to spot treat any surviving Yellow Crazy Ants after that.

“From there, we will treat the smaller outlier infestation at Goondaloo Creek and complete an aerial treatment at Alligator Creek.”

Cr Soars said Yellow Crazy Ants are invasive and that it’s crucial for the community and Council to work together to eradicate them.

“One of the complicating factors for treating the infestations of Yellow Crazy Ants is just how large the super colonies can get and that we do need to enter and access properties to properly treat them,” he said.

“If we don’t access a property and treat any known colonies, it does undermine the treatment as a whole and risks the infestation re-establishing itself.

“That’s why its critical that the community knows what Yellow Crazy Ants are, how to recognise them and tells us if they think they may have a colony on their property.

“Human action is the most prominent way the Yellow Crazy Ants establish colonies and spread so things like checking where your soil and mulch have been sourced from and what potential biosecurity risks it might carry is important.”

Yellow Crazy Ants form super colonies with dense populations that can overwhelm native species, causing a loss of biodiversity, impacting plant populations and interrupting pollination and seed dispersal. They are a yellow-brownish colour, have an erratic walking style and spray formic acid that can burn people and pets.

For more information about Yellow Crazy Ants and how to prevent their spread, visit Yellow Crazy Ants.