Fire ants are continuing their relentless invasion of Brisbane.
Now local residents are being urged to help eradicate the pest.
Cayla Marchant reports.
First detected 16 years ago, the fire ants have now been spotted in Fairfield, Holland Park West and St Lucia.
Biosecurity Queensland officers have destroyed the one nest in each suburb and inspected surrounding areas.
However, residents and businesses are urged to be on the lookout and report anymore sightings.
Dr Ross Wylie, Manager, Science for Fire Ants: “Community engagement, community assistance is very, very important. About 70% of all new finds that we get throughout the program come from the public.”
Wayne Roberts, Fire Ant Volunteer: “It’s our communities that are affected and if people aren’t looking for fire ants as well as the staff, then the job becomes so much bigger.”
The South American species are capable of flying up to 5km and it’s vital they’re contained.
Although they may be small, fire ants have the potential to kill.
If they spread throughout Australia, it could cost the economy at least $1.6 billion a year.
If you notice any fire ants, you’re urged to call the Biosecurity Queensland hotline 13 25 23.
Cayla Marchant, QUT News.