Deathly fire ants create "flood rafts" to spread during Australia's floods

Deathly fire ants create “flood rafts” to spread during Australia’s floods

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Deathly fire ants create "flood rafts" to spread during Australia's floods Deathly fire ants create "flood rafts" to spread during Australia's floods



Deathly fire ants create “flood rafts” to spread during Australia’s floods.

One of the most invasive species in the world is spreading throughout storm-ravaged Australia thanks to fire ants that are building rafts to travel on floodwaters.

Fire ants are regarded as super pests because they devour local plants and animals, which can lead to significant changes in ecosystems and agricultural loss.

People can also be killed by their stings.

The uncommon rafting behaviour is proof that “fire ant densities are increasing” in Australia, according to the Invasive Species Council (ISC).

In light of the recent extreme weather, it is advising residents in south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales to remain vigilant against fire ants, which travel in currents in search of “establish footholds in new areas”.

On cane plantations south of Brisbane, where fire ants have already infested roughly 700,000 hectares of land, video proof of the rafting has been recorded.

Red imported fire ants, which are native to South America, were discovered for the first time in Queensland in 2001 and have since mostly been kept within the state’s boundaries.

It’s still unclear how they got into Australia, but it’s assumed that they probably travelled there in shipping containers from the US.

Local authorities in November reported that numerous fire ant nests had crossed into New South Wales from the Queensland border for the first time. 

This led to an increase in funding for eradication efforts across the country.

The most typical ways that fire ants spread are through contaminated soil and items that people carry into new regions.

Although they can fly many km at time, winged fire ant queens can travel considerably farther when carried by wind currents.

According to biosecurity experts, Australia is “the perfect home for fire ants” because of its peculiar environment and lack of natural predators. If left unchecked, these ants might live “the entire continent except for the most extreme coldest locations”.

Experts agree that one of their greatest concerns is that they might eventually enter the country’s Murray-Darling River system and then spread quickly into new states and territories.

Up to 100,000 fire ants can be found in colony that is three years old, and mature queen can lay up to 5,000 eggs per day.

According to the Australian government, fire ants have expanded throughout the US, China, Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines in recent decades.

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