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Anti-Ant Campaign To Be Taken To The People

Taranaki Regional Council media release
For immediate release
22 November 2007

Anti-Ant Campaign To Be Taken To The People

Westown/Blagdon 5 December, Waitara 6 December, Oakura 7 December, Bell Block 8 December

The great ant hunt is about to begin in selected areas in and near New Plymouth.

It’s no game though – the quarry is the Argentine ant, considered to be one of the world’s most invasive and problematic species.

It has already arrived in the region and is among the targets in the Taranaki Regional Council’s Animal Pest Management Strategy.

Council Pest Management staff will hit the road in the first week of December giving residents in the affected areas a chance to find out if their properties are infested.

The Council officers will set up temporary display and identification stations where residents can bring ant samples to be identified. If they prove to be the unwanted species, advice will be available – along with effective bait and poison at a cost of around $55 per household per year.

As spraying ants makes identification difficult, residents are urged to collect ant samples in a clear plastic or glass jar and place them in the freezer overnight.

The campaign will take place at the following locations on the following days:

Westown: Woolworths Tukapa St, Wednesday 5 December, 9am-noon.

Blagdon: Behind Four-Square Store, Wednesday 5 December, 1pm-4pm.

Waitara: Cnr Rahiri St and Princess St, Thursday 6 December, 10am-3pm.

Oakura: Oakura Hall Friday 7 December, 10am-3pm.

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Bell Block: Parklands Shopping Centre, Saturday 8 December, 10am-3pm.

Taranaki Regional Council Director-Operations Rob Phillips says the Council aims to prevent the spread of Argentine ants and is keen to provide information and support to those affected. Under the Pest Management Strategy, residents are responsible for effectively controlling infestations on their property.

“These ants form trails up to five ants wide and 50 to 60 metres long. They have a huge appetite and have been known to attack lizards, skinks and even small birds, leaving skeletal remains,” he says.

“They pose a serious threat to everyone’s amenity and lifestyle values, as well as horticultural production and biodiversity.”

Most of the commonly used sprays and poisons are ineffective against Argentine ants.

For more information, see www.trc.govt.nz.


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