Browsing ant case study

Location: Perth, Australia

Justification: Containment

Goal: Eradication

Size: 60 ha (Perth), 10 ha (Belmont)

Products: Pyriproxyfen (5 g/kg, 2 kg/ha), Termidor (fipronil, 100 g/L; diluted to 450 ml Termidor/ 100 L water)

Time of year: December, January (summer)

Outcome: Eradicated

Programme cost: unknown

Manager: Marc Widmer (marc.widmer@agric.wa.gov.au), Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia

 

A group of browsing ant nests in a patch of sand (© Marc Widmer, Western Australian Agriculture Authority)  

Browsing ants were first discovered in Australia at the Perth Airport in 2013. The following year they were detected on a commercial property in Belmont. The Australian Department of Agriculture worked together with the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia to eradicate these infestations.

A single application of unregistered pyriproxyfen granular bait was applied across both infestations during summer. This was followed by spraying the ant nesting areas with 0.045% Termidor at a rate of 1 L/16 m2 (0.6 ml/m2) two weeks later. Non-nesting foraging areas such as verges, pathways, outside building edges, bases of trees and rubbish bin areas were also sprayed in a grid pattern at an application rate of 500 L/ha. These areas were sprayed with the diluted Termidor once, except for five small areas (less than 50 m2 each) with persistent populations that were done twice. 

After a further two years of monitoring in which no more browsing ants were detected, and the assistance of two odour-detection dogs during the final surveillance, both infestations were declared successfully eradicated at the end of 2016 / beginning of 2017.

Information source

Further information was provided by Marc Widmer, Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia

content reviewed by Marc Widmer, Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, December 2017