Residents in the Northern Rivers can meet with experts this week to learn more about the invasive pests’ potential impact on NSW communities, environment, and economy.

The National Fire Ant Eradication Program will be touring the local area over the course of the week commencing 26 February, allowing Northern Rivers community and businesses a chance to learn about what fire ants look like, what to do if they’re spotted and how to prevent any further fire ant spread.

Residents can drop in and chat with fire ant experts at the following locations:

  • Tuesday, 27 February: 9am – 4pm at Bunnings Lismore
    9am – 12pm at Alstonville Main Street
  • Wednesday, 28 February: 9am – 12pm at Suffolk Park SPAR
    9am – 12pm at Ocean Village Shopping Centre
    1 – 4 pm at Bunnings Byron Bay
    1 – 4 pm at Woolworths Mullumbimby
  • Thursday, 29 February: 9 – 11 am at Byron Bay Farmers Markets
    1 – 4 pm at Kingscliff Shopping Village
    1 – 4 pm at IGA Pottsville
  • Friday, 1 March: 9am – 12 pm at Tweed City Shopping Centre
    9am – 12 pm at Banora Central Shopping Centre
    1 – 4 pm at Bunnings Tweed Heads
    1 – 4 pm at Tweed Mall Shopping Centre

Following the destruction of detected nests within 24 hours of being called in, the NSW Government continues to actively work to eradicate fire ants following two recent isolated detections of the pest in South Murwillumbah and Wardell.

The response works in partnership with the National Fire Ant Eradication Program, who are responsible for the ongoing treatment and surveillance of fire ant movement control areas.

In South Murwillumbah, the program will be strategically baiting around the infested premises, whether fire ants are visible or not, ensures that no undetected fire ants exist.

Residents and businesses in the area are encouraged to authorise fire ant teams to enter the outdoor areas of their property by completing a consent form online at www.fireants.org.au.

Treatment is safe for people and animals and is approved by the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority, containing the same active ingredients commonly found in household and agricultural pest control products, but at a much lower concentration.

In Wardell, surveillance continues to focus on the initial 500m zone as well as strategic surveillance at targeted sites.

The Northern Rivers community is continuing their vigilance in looking out for fire ants, with 561 calls to the NSW Biosecurity Hotline on 1800 680 244 or reporting online at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fire-ants, as well as more than 1500 visits to drop-in centres and community meetings over the last few months.

The National Fire Ant Eradication Program’s fire ant display of sterile female ants is transported in a completely sealed box with a permit under the Biosecurity Act 2015.