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The fire ants go marching and one by one officers will visit backyards

“From now until approximately June 2020, ground and aerial crews will be spreading fire ant bait across areas of the Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, Ipswich, Logan and the Gold Coast,” he said.

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“This treatment season is particularly important for south-east Queensland and the rest of Australia.

“By the end of this treatment season we will see further evidence that our strategy to work from the west of the infestation is succeeding.”

The ants were first discovered in Brisbane in 2001, with more invasions discovered since. The worst, at the Port of Brisbane, was eradicated in 2015.

But the aggressive “super-pest”, capable of highly painful and dangerous stings, has made its way across to Queensland’s food bowl in the Lockyer Valley and Scenic Rim.

Mr Dudgeon said the ants were being successfully baited in those areas.

“Initial reports are very positive, with residents in parts of the Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and the Ipswich City local government areas telling us there used to be ants, now there are none,” he said.

“Over the course of the 10-year program resources are focused on eradication strategies, working from the western boundary of the infestation area to the east.

“Containment strategies are also in place, with suppression of fire ants undertaken within our operational boundaries to minimise spread until eradication actions are applied.”

The new baiting season will focus on the west of Brisbane and controlling heavily infested areas, including suburbs of western Ipswich, Logan and the northern Gold Coast.

Fire ant bait is not toxic to animals, plants or humans and is an insect growth regulator soaked in corn grit.

Officers for the eradication program hope to enter properties, with Mr Dudgeon asking residents to allow them access to backyards and properties.

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