Elec­tric ants in­fes­ta­tion

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

A CRAIGLIE res­i­dent has re­ported elec­tric ants in the Dou­glas re­gion af­ter be­ing bit­ten more than a dozen times on his prop­erty.

Iron Bar en­ter­tainer Nick Gib­son was stung by the ven­omous ants two weeks ago while tidy­ing the gar­den around his swim­ming pool.

“I was stung dozens of times on my stom­ach and it felt like I was on fire,” he said.

“I didn’t know what to do so I jumped in the pool be­cause it was so painful.”

The tiny gin­ger-coloured ants are ap­prox­i­mately 1.5mm long and can in­flict a painful sting by in­ject­ing venom caus­ing itch­i­ness and a se­vere al­ler­gic re­ac­tion.

Mr Gib­son was con­cerned for his three daugh­ters, five-year-old Han­nah, three-yearold Karla and one-year-old Chelsea.

“I know how painful it was for me so I can’t imag­ine how painful it would be for one of the kids, es­pe­cially our baby,” he said.

“We re­ported the ants straight away to the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Re­source Man­age­ment (DERM) who came out the next day to spray them.”

Elec­tric ant erad­i­ca­tion pro­gram co­or­di­na­tor Corey Bell said biose­cu­rity of­fi­cers in­spected the site and found a heavy in­fes­ta­tion in the yard and in­side the house.

“We have so far iden­ti­fied nine in­fested prop­er­ties, and the edge of a nearby stormwa­ter drain is in­fested as well,” she said.

“We baited the area im­me­di­ately to pre­vent fur­ther im­pact on lo­cal res­i­dents. We will con­tinue to in­spect the neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties to de­ter­mine the full ex­tent of the in­fes­ta­tion be­fore com­plet­ing treat­ment to kill the ants.”

Res­i­dents are urged to re­port sus­pi­cious ants to Biose­cu­rity Queens­land on 13 25 23.

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