BE GONE: Somerset residents urged to remain vigilant after fire ants were found at Pine Mountain.
BE GONE: Somerset residents urged to remain vigilant after fire ants were found at Pine Mountain. Photo Contributed

If you see fire ants, report them

A NEST of red fire ants at Pine Mountain close to the boundary of the Somerset area has been reported and residents have been urged to remain vigilant.

Biosecurity Queensland officers have destroyed the nest and bait treated the immediate surrounding area.

Somerset Regional Council mayor Graeme Lehmann urged residents to be vigilant and report any suspect looking ants to Biosecurity Queensland, a section of the Queensland Government's Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

The distinguishing feature of fire ants is their variance of size between two to six millimetres. Their colour is coppery-brown with a dark abdomen.

Fire ants inflict a painful sting and are aggressive.

Their nests appear as mounds of loose soil with no entry or exit holes and can often be found around fence lines, dams, edges of cultivated land, crop land post-harvest, garden beds, lawns and taps.

"Council operators in our region follow processes to check worksites and have reporting mechanisms in place to ensure fire ants are reported when seen,” Cr Lehmann said.

For information on identifying fire ants and to report sightings, visit www.daf.qld.gov.au/fireants or phone 132523.

A fire ant identification video and reporting mechanisms information is available from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries YouTube channel.


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