Red Imported Fire Ants located on yacht

23 February 2007

Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta~fire ants) have been located on board a yacht moored at Westhaven Marina in Auckland.

Biosecurity New Zealand Senior Adviser Megan Sarty says the 70ft yacht had travelled through the Caribbean on the way here and it was likely the fire ants had hitched a ride from there.

“The owner, who first noticed the fire ants on 4 February, did the right thing by contacting a pest control company who then contacted Biosecurity New Zealand.”

Ms Sarty says Biosecurity New Zealand responded immediately and treated the yacht with baits and insecticidal spray - monitoring for ant activity will continue onboard until Biosecurity New Zealand is confident there are no more fire ants present.

“While a full nest analysis is yet to be completed initial indications are that a single, small nest is involved.”

She says the owner has acted responsibly.

“The owner has assisted with treating the nest and is co-operating with a Biosecurity New Zealand Restricted Place notice served on Friday 16 February 2007. This will remain in place until onboard treatments are complete.”

ENDS

For further information contact:

Annie Wright
Senior Communications Adviser
Biosecurity New Zealand
Tel: 04 894 0654 Mobile: 029 894 0654

Contact MPI

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