Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Expert urges damage control as invader ant digs in

Click for big version

Ants and bait

Click for big version

January 16, 2005

Expert urges damage control as invader ant digs in

New Zealanders are being urged to get behind a campaign to control the spread of a foreign invader that threatens to become a major ecological danger.

International ant expert Dr Cas Vanderwoude says that voracious Argentine ants are now well established in New Zealand and, if left unchecked, pose a serious environmental, social and economic threat to New Zealand.

And with New Zealanders moving around the country on holiday, there’s huge potential for the ants to spread to new areas.

“Argentine ants could have as big an impact on New Zealand as wasps have had,” he said.

“It’s vital that we all do our part in limiting their spread – and that means checking your camping equipment to make sure that you are not transporting them,” he said.

Argentine ants are on the world’s top-100 worst-invaders list, and rapidly displace other ants, worms and insects. They swarm in huge numbers and will overrun properties, making it almost impossible for humans to sit outside. They will also invade indoors, swarming into fridges and pantries, and have even been known to strip baby birds to their bones.

Argentine ants were first found in Auckland in 1990, but are now established as far south as Christchurch.

“Unfortunately, when they arrived in New Zealand there was no known way of controlling them,” Dr Vanderwoude said.

“We have now developed a bait that will kill them, but they are too well established to eradicate. The best we can do is to control their impact and their spread, and that means all of us being vigilant.”

Argentine ants have been found in Auckland, Northland, Coromandel Peninsula, the Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington city, Nelson city and Christchurch. Temperatures in the southern South Island mean that Argentine ants are not expected to spread south of Christchurch.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Media Mega Merger: StuffMe Hearing Argues Over Moveable Feast

New Zealand's two largest news publishers are appealing against the Commerce Commission's rejection of the proposal to merge their operations. More>>


Approval: Northern Corridor Decision Released

The approval gives the green light to construction of the last link of Auckland’s Western Ring Route, providing an alternative route from South Auckland to the North Shore. More>>


Crown Accounts: $4.1 Billion Surplus

The New Zealand Government has achieved its third fiscal surplus in a row with the Crown accounts for the year ended 30 June 2017 showing an OBEGAL surplus of $4.1 billion, $2.2 billion stronger than last year, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>


Mycoplasma Bovis: One New Property Tests Positive

The newly identified property... was already under a Restricted Place notice under the Biosecurity Act. More>>

Accounting Scandal: Suspension Of Fuji Xerox From All-Of-Government Contract

General Manager of New Zealand Government Procurement John Ivil says, “FXNZ has been formally suspended from the Print Technology and Associated Services (PTAS) contract and terminated from the Office Supplies contract.” More>>