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4 February 2004
Tauranga residents are asked to be on the look out for any unusual ant
activity as the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) begins
intensive surveillance for exotic ants.
MAF is specifically looking for crazy ants, yellow crazy ants and
tropical fire ants which have been discovered at a Mount Maunganui
container yard during previous surveillance activities.
Programme Coordinator Amelia Pascoe says visual and baited surveillance
will occur within a 500 metre radius of the original nest sites. Brochures
detailing types of exotic ants to be on the look out for have been sent to
properties within a 1.6 kilometre radius.
High risk areas include warm sunny sites close to water sources such as
open drains and creeks, dripping taps, leaky water mains, grassy areas,
base of trees, under debris, logs, rocks and other areas favourable for
Over the last three years, as part of its national invasive ant
programme, MAF has focussed surveillance and monitoring activity on
high-risk areas such as international ports, transitional facilities,
container yards and some nurseries.
As a result, the programme has been responsible for the early detection
and control of a number of exotic ant species including the eradication of
red imported fire ants from Auckland.
Invasive ants have the potential to compete with and prey upon our
native species and some ants also are of a public health significance.
MAF needs your help, remember, please call 0800 809 966 if you think
you have found any exotic ants.
For more information go to: www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pest-and-disease-response/pests-and-diseases-watchlist
For more information contact:
MAF Senior Communications Adviser
Philippa White 04 498 9948 or 027 223 1875