Ant treatment to go sky high

Date published: 9 May 2024

Council will be taking to the sky as they complete their routine treatment targeting Yellow Crazy Ants at Alligator Creek and Julago on Friday.

Mayor Troy Thompson said Council’s dedicated Yellow Crazy Ant team would be targeting about 368 hectares around Julago and Alligator Creek by helicopter.

“Yellow Crazy Ants have become a critical biosecurity concern for Townsville and over the years Council has been on the front foot to control it,” Cr Thompson said.

“Yellow Crazy Ants are one of the world’s top 100 worst invasive species that cause a loss of biodiversity which then impacts plant populations, pollination, seed dispersal and decomposition of organic matter.

“The Australian government is providing $12.8 million dollars over the next four years to go towards control and eradication measures to tackle the pest species across the Townsville region.

“Coordinated efforts using drones and helicopters to drop baits at Alligator Creek and Julago will take place on Friday 10 May and we appreciate the community’s cooperation and patience while these treatments are taking place.”

Local councillor for Division 10, Brady Ellis said Council would be using an ant bait called Antoff Fipronil, a specialised granular bait which settles among grass and gardens.

“The bait is harmless to wildlife, pets, horses and livestock,” Cr Ellis said.

“While the majority of the baits – some 1,840kg will be spread by helicopter, areas closer to houses, or identified yards will be spread by our ground crew, or those really hard to reach places will be treated by drone.

“Yellow Crazy Ants are a fast-moving pest species which can cause a significant amount of damage to our diverse ecosystem.

“We are encouraging the community to help us identify further possible infestation sites.

“Our website features a lot of information about Yellow Crazy Ants including what they look like, but as a general rule of thumb they’re about half the size of a green ant, are yellowish in colour – as per their name and have an erratic, crazy walk to them.

“We’d like to thank the community for their cooperation during this treatment and ask if residents notice any Yellow Crazy Ants, even if they can’t be 100 per cent sure, to report it to Council on 13 48 10.”

This project is funded by the Australian Government and delivered by the Queensland Government and Townsville City Council.

Visit our Yellow Crazy Ants page for more information.