New regulations allow more people to fight fire ants

FIRE ants are gone from Gladstone and the Port of Brisbane - but now parts of south-east Queensland will have to wage their own war against the resilient pests.

The Queensland Government led the charge against the scourge but has now relaxed regulations so private operators and citizens can join the fight.

The ants deliver painful, itching stings lasting an hour. They are known to "swarm" on a victim, causing powerful feelings of a painful heat akin to being on fire.

Agriculture Minister John McVeigh said government teams kept infestations under control in Ipswich and the Lockyer Valley, but helicopter surveillance would continue.

Any business still needs a proper plan approved by the government, and while residents were able to go on the attack, they must call the government to report any sightings.

The department then follows up to ensure nests are properly destroyed.

Biosecurity Queensland remains in the fight, conducting helicopter surveys of south-east Queensland suburbs including North Ipswich, Mt Crosby and Marburg to the west.

For those concerned about the ants, more information is available at http://www.daff.qld.gov.au



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