Hunt for red ant not over

Fremantle Gazette - - NEWS -

EF­FORTS to en­sure an in­va­sive ant species hasn’t made it any fur­ther into Perth than Fre­man­tle har­bour ramp up again this month.

A hand­ful of red im­ported fire ants and linked nests were dis­cov­ered at two busi­nesses near the port last November, spark­ing a longterm search and im­ple­men­ta­tion of an on­go­ing quar­an­tine zone in an at­tempt to stop the de­struc­tive pest es­tab­lish­ing in WA.

This month the Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment will visit Fre­man­tle house­holds and busi­nesses to look for and col­lect ants from their prop­er­ties.

“If oc­cu­pants are not home, depart­ment per­son­nel will leave a call­ing card re­quest­ing they make con­tact to ar­range an in­spec­tion,” the depart­ment’s in­ver­te­brate pests man­ager John van Scha­gen said.

He de­scribed the red im­ported fire ant an a sig­nif­i­cant in­va­sive species which, if es­tab­lished in WA, could se­verely dam­age the en­vi­ron­ment, agri­cul­ture and WA life­style. The quar­an­tine area, which places lim­i­ta­tions around mov­ing pot­ted plans, mulch, soil and dig­ging equip­ment, ex­tends from Port Beach, as far south as the South Fre­man­tle dog beach and east to East Street.

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