Black River Yellow Crazy Ant treatment underway

Date published: 29 May 2024

More than 800 hectares of land will be treated by helicopter this week at Black River as Council takes on the fight against Yellow Crazy Ants in the northern suburb.

Deputy Mayor Paul Jacob said Council was working with a local helicopter contractor to complete their first round of treatment at the Black River site.

“From Thursday, residents of Black River can expect to see a low-flying helicopter in the area treating for the pesky Yellow Crazy Ant,” Cr Jacob said.

“The treatments will be ongoing throughout Thursday and Friday, where the contractor will spread almost 8 tonnes of granular bait across more than 800 hectares. A number of further treatments will be rolled out in the next 12 months.”

Councillor Jacob said Yellow Crazy Ants had become a critical biosecurity concern for Townsville and over the years, Council had been on the front foot to control any potential spread.

“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,” Cr Jacob said.

“Thanks to the Australian Government providing $12.8 million dollars over the next four years, we’re able to go hard when it comes to control and eradication measures to tackle the pest species across the Townsville region.

“Coordinated efforts using helicopters to drop baits at Black River as well as ground crew will take place on Thursday 30 and Friday 31 May and we appreciate the community’s cooperation and patience while these treatments are underway.

“The ant bait we will be using is called Antoff Fipronil, a specialised granular bait which settles among grass and gardens and is harmless to wildlife, pets, horses and livestock.”

He said while the majority of the baits would be spread by helicopter, areas closer to houses, or identified yards will be spread by our ground crew.

“Yellow Crazy Ants are a fast-moving pest species which can cause a significant amount of damage to our diverse ecosystem, which is why we are encouraging the community to help us identify further possible infestation sites,” he said.

“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.”

Senator for Queensland, 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,” she 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 and delivered by the Queensland Government and Townsville City Council.

Visit our Yellow Crazy Ants page for more information.