Focus on the Land
Rid your neighbourhood of ant colonies
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
A UNITED neighbourhood attack in spring is what is needed to get rid of Argentine or Darwin’s ants that plague some areas of Gisborne.
Gisborne District Council says spring is the best time to lay poison bait while ant colonies are in one area, close to winter nests and before they start foraging further afield.
The ants soon become a significant nuisance over the summer months.
The council has employed a co-ordinator to raise the awareness of the ants for the next six months.
William Dobbie was employed for six months last year and was very successful in raising public awareness about the problem, says council spokeswoman Toni Lexmond.
He door knocked, provided advice and encouraged neighbourhoods to co-ordinate their approach when laying bait to deal with these problematic ants. He will build on the work this year.
The cost of controlling Argentine or Darwin’s ants on private property is the land occupier’s responsibility but the council can supply Xtinguish ant bait at a cost of $45.00 for a 325 gram tube.
Anyone who wants their ants identified can take them, in a container, to the council.
Mr Dobbie says Argentine and Darwin’s ants are a problem due to huge populations and appetite.
They form distinctive trails that may be five or more ants wide travelling along footpaths, up and along sides of buildings, up tree trunks, along branches and along wooden or concrete fence lines. Multiple queens are produced that form huge colonies with several or more nests on a single residential property.
All colonies are genetically related so there is no in fighting between individual groups and they can quickly blanket an area.
Where combined colonies are present they can impact on many outdoor activities. They eat a wide range of foods such as sweets, and buds of some plants especially the tender honeydew producing species and will forage for foods in homes. They are a problem in gardens and orchards where they protect honeydew producing insects such as aphids and scale insects.
The “farming” of these insects by ants allows populations to increase to damaging levels.
Native invertebrates and many native bird species are also at risk from these ants either through direct attack or by competing with them for resources like nectar or honeydew.
No comments - be the first to comment
Do you support the push for food to be provided in all low-decile schools?
Yes but targeted to those who need it
Send in your
Explore The Gisborne Herald
Letters to the Editor
Focus on the Land
64 Gladstone Road, PO Box 1143, Gisborne, New Zealand | Ph: +64 6 869 0600 | Fax: +64 6 869 0643 (editorial) | Fax: +64 6 869 0644 (advertising) | News Hotline: 0800 NEWSLINE (639 754) | email@example.com
Copyright © The Gisborne Herald