Blitz on electric ants on this weekend in Kuranda

Blitz on electric ants on this weekend in Kuranda

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Electric ants pictured on the tip of a lead pencil.

Electric ants pictured on the tip of a lead pencil.

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Biosecurity Queensland will go on a blitz this weekend to crack down on electric ants in Kuranda.

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Biosecurity Queensland will go on a blitz this weekend to crack down on electric ants in Kuranda.

Residents can do their bit by registered for a free yard check at their place, using a self-survery kit to check their yard or by registering as a surveillance volunteer.

is urging Kuranda residents to join an intensive surveillance blitz targeting electric ants.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the hunt for electric ants in Kuranda would be held on Saturday January 18 and Sunday January 19.

"Put simply, we need to find every single electric ant for the program to be successful," he said.

Mr Furner said that, currently, electric ants were found only in North Queensland.

"Worryingly, one in five of all our electric ant infestations have been found in the Kuranda, Myola, Speewah and Koah areas," he said.

"Electric ants are a significant environmental, health and agricultural pest so it is in everyone's interest to lend a hand to eradicate them.

"Even if you can't be involved on the days, you can do simple things to reduce the risk of bringing electric ants onto your property.

"For example, if buying or swapping pot plants or cuttings, get them checked or self-quarantine them and, if you see any suspect ants or are being stung in your garden or pool, contact the program on 13 25 23."

The slow-moving electric ants are about 1.5mm long and golden brown in colour.

Native to Central and South America and first detected in Cairns in 2006, they prey on and compete with other insects and can displace large numbers of native animals, ants and other insects.

The electric ants can also inflict painful stings on animals and humans.

They are usually found in groups and have been found under stones, in garden waste, leaf litter, soil, trees, around swimming pools and water courses, and may be in wall cavities, clothing, bedding, garden furniture or camping gear.

Electric ants can survive in water and have been known to sting people in swimming pools.

To get involved with the weekend blitz, residents can call 13 25 23 or visit www.daf.qld.gov.au/anthunt to register for a free yard check.

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