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Billion Dollars Are Spent On Ants in Australia

Fire Ants Swarm Australia After Being Imported Causing A Crisis.

You’re probably wondering why the government is spending about a billion dollars to eradicate a couple ants. 

As you probably already know Australia is known for its outdoor lifestyle and experience. This pest poses a threat to their lifestyles. To understand the entire story you have to first understand how they appeared. These pests are native to South America. It started 23 years ago when fire ants were first imported at the Port of Brisbane. Soon after, the ants spread throughout the city and into Gold Coast. Outbreaks of ants have appeared in neighboring cities including New South Wales, in Murwillumbah and Wardell. Researchers believe that these outbreaks will likely spread to South East Queensland. 

The government is hoping to eradicate the species before it spreads or the effects will be similar to that of the United States and China. Speaking of which, both these countries have had outbreaks with the ants spreading at 48 km in the United states and 80 km in China. Both the countries have also spent billions of dollars trying to eradicate the species and have failed. The main reason why the ants are so hard to get rid of is because they can reproduce at insane speeds. A mature queen can lay up to 5000 eggs a day making it practically impossible to eradicate. 

Another half a billion dollars will be spent on another attempt to eradicate the ants by 2032. The process is mostly conducted with a baiting program that makes fire ants infertile. Sadly this process is highly expensive and in Murwillumbah each nest is baited for a two year long period. The bait is made from a toxin (an insecticide) and the food that ants eat. Australia’s climate and little predators makes this increasingly difficult. Hopefully these ants will soon be eradicated!

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