The bites Peter Schuback believes were from fire ants.
The bites Peter Schuback believes were from fire ants. Contributed

Fire ants could be cause of bites at Nikenbah

PETER Schuback was putting up business signs at Nikenbah when he was attacked by what he believed to be fire ants.

"I stopped there and I was putting up a sign and the next thing you know I get bitten on the leg," he said.

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"It bit me seven or eight times up my leg and when I looked they were very red."

Mr Schuback contacted Fraser Coast Regional Council who then directed him to BioSecurity Queensland.

 

REAL THING: This is what fire ants look like when they congregate.
REAL THING: This is what fire ants look like when they congregate. Dep of Agriculture and Fisheries

"I was talking to the woman from BioSecurity and after I described the ants she agreed they could very well be fire ants and they'd get someone to look into it," he said.

"I wouldn't be surprised if they were (fire ants) because we used to have stuff coming and going from the nurseries.

"They could have come in with the soil which was transported."

According to National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program Director Geoff Kent, there have been no confirmed reports of fire ants on the Fraser Coast since the program's inception in 2001.

 

PAGE 12: Have fire ants reached the Fraser Coast? Man stung in Nikenbah.
PAGE 12: Have fire ants reached the Fraser Coast? Man stung in Nikenbah. Dep of Agriculture and Fisheries

"Encounters with fire ants can involve tens or hundreds of ants (and) they tend to sting all at once and can sting repeatedly," Mr Kent said.

"Stings are painful and the burning or itching sensations can last up to an hour."

Mr Kent said a victim of multiple stings could feel as if their body were on fire.

Small blisters or pustules may form at the sting sites within a matter of hours or up to two days later.



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