Three sniffer dogs have joined the hugely expensive campaign to eradiate fire ants in Queensland.
Queensland has unveiled its latest weapon in the war against fire ants.
They’re cute, they’re furry and they’ve got a keen nose for a pest that’s so far cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
Three sniffer dogs named Olivia, Mikey and Willow are boldly going where corn-based baits and heat-sensing helicopters have gone before them – in search of fire ant infestations.
It’s been 13 years since Queensland’s first invasion was discovered at the port of Brisbane, and ever since there’s been a hugely expensive program underway to try to eradicate them.
The dogs will support ground eradication teams in Gladstone as part of Biosecurity Queensland’s second round of fire ant surveillance.
Anthony Wright from Biosecurity Queensland says are invaluable as their acute sense of smell helps officers hunt down nests.
“The dogs are primarily being used to conduct a check of known infested properties to ensure the nests that were detected and treated earlier this year have been destroyed,” Mr Wright said.
Fire ants sting repeatedly and can kill humans through severe allergic reaction, while also posing a significant risk to Australian agriculture and wildlife.
The state government has continued to use thermal imaging aerial cameras to scan for infestations across Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich and Gladstone.
Strict movements are in control in parts of Queensland, for things such as mulch, to try to stop their spread.