Council bolsters treatments against Crazy Ants

Date published: 13 June 2024

Council is throwing everything it’s got at treating Townsville’s largest Yellow Crazy Ant infestation in the city’s southern suburbs.

Divisional Councillor, Brady Ellis said thanks to the Australian Government’s $12.8 million in funding over the next four years, Council had been able to create a dedicated team to tackle the biosecurity issue.

“It’s no secret Yellow Crazy Ants are a major biosecurity concern for Townsville and are one of the world’s top 100 worst invasive species, so we’re throwing everything at our known infestation sites around Townsville,” Cr Ellis said.

“The southern suburb infestation site is Townsville’s biggest, but thanks to our increased capacity we’ve been able to widen our scope and investigation, which is what has led to the next aerial treatment of the area to be increased.

“Aerial treatments will be undertaken over a few days, including the suburbs of Alligator Creek, Julago, Brookhill, Stuart and Mt Elliot from Saturday through to Tuesday.

“The Australian Government’s investment has allowed us to invest heavily in control and eradication measures to tackle the pest species across the Townsville region.

“Council will coordinate our efforts in this treatment, using helicopters and when needed - officers on foot and drones for those hard to access areas, with the goal of spreading about 20,000kg of ant bait called Antoff Fipronil.

“The specialised granular bait settles among grass and gardens and is harmless to wildlife, pets, horses and livestock.”

Councillor Ellis said he thanked the community for their understanding and patience during the ongoing treatments and said Council encourages the community to help identify further possible infestation sites.

“Our website features a lot of information about Yellow Crazy Ants including what they look like,” he said.

“If residents notice any Yellow Crazy Ants, even if they can’t be 100 per cent sure, then I would encourage them to report it to Council on 13 48 10.”

Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef, Senator Nita Green, said treatments controlling the spread will play an important role in protecting Townsville’s neighbouring councils from the threat of Yellow Crazy Ants.

“Yellow Crazy Ants are a serious threat to our native species and can wreak havoc on agriculture production,” Senator Green said.

“They can quickly outnumber and kill native species and invade and destroy their habitat.

“That’s why the Australian Government has invested $12.8 million to control the spread of this invasive species in the Townsville region. Distributing ant bait is an important step.”

This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government’s Saving Native Species Program.

The treatments will take place from Friday 14 June – Tuesday 18 June 2024.

Visit our Yellow Crazy Ants page for more information.

Cr Brady Ellis inspecting ant baits ahead of tomorrow’s treatment
Caption: Cr Brady Ellis inspecting ant baits ahead of tomorrow’s treatment.