The invasive yellow crazy ants were recently detected in Lismore’s CBD and now movement restrictions are being applied under the Biosecurity Act 2015 to prevent the movement of plant matter and soil within a five kilometre radius of the Lismore Central Business District.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has issued a General Biosecurity Direction to help contain an infestation of the invasive pest, yellow crazy ant, which was recently confirmed to be present throughout central Lismore.
You can still work on your garden and take your plant matter and soil to the Lismore Recovery and Recycling Centre said a Department of Primary Industries spokesperson. However, don’t take cuttings or trimmings out of your garden for instance to a friend or family member.
‘We are trying to put the message out there that you shouldn’t move plant or soil matter off your property,’ continued the spokesperson.
Yellow crazy ant is considered to be one of the top 100 invasive species worldwide and, in large numbers, can attack and kill small animals and birds, damaging local ecosystems.
NSW DPI Biosecurity and food safety manager invasive species programs Scott Charlton said while the infestation is focused on the Lismore CBD, the ants had also been found in a small number of locations in a wider surrounding area.
‘We are treating this outbreak very seriously, and the new movement restrictions will help ensure we can limit and treat it effectively,’ he said.
‘The restrictions mean plant matter and soil, including grass clippings, woodchips and sand, cannot be moved within, into or from the restricted zone without a permit, unless it is taken directly to the Lismore Recovery and Recycling Centre.
‘Yellow Crazy Ant can be spread with the movement of plants and soil, and we urge the community to be on the lookout to help prevent that. While the ants themselves spread relatively slowly, it is critical we restrict human-assisted movement.
‘If you see these ants – yellow or brownish, about five millimetres long, with very long legs and antennae, and an erratic walking style – you can report them on the hotline, NSW DPI website, or to the Local Lands Services.’
Yellow crazy ant is a serious environmental pest, and although not a direct threat to humans they pose a serious economic and environmental threat. Find out more through the NSW DPI FAQ.
Reports can be made via the NSW DPI Invasive Plants and Animals Hotline on 1800 680 244, or at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/antreport