Australia’s $1 billion budget to fight red fire ants

In Australia, the local and federal government has increased the budget allocated to combat red fire ants to 1 billion dollars, aiming to end the ant infestation in Queensland state by 2032.

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Australia's $1 billion budget to fight red fire ants

Australia’s local and federal governments have announced that they will double the budget allocated to the fight against red fire ants on the grounds that they reduce the quality of life of citizens, ABC News reported.

Australian authorities have increased the budget to a total of 1 billion dollars with an additional investment of 500 million dollars.

The budget aims to eradicate the red fire ant infestation in Queensland state by 2032, officials said.

Stating that an average of 8.6 million people in the country are bitten by fire ants annually, the authorities pointed out that 43 to 174 thousand people need medical intervention due to allergic reactions after being bitten.

Detected red fire ant nests are being poisoned

Ashley Bacon, manager of the National Fire Ant Eradication Program, reported that the ongoing program limits the annual spread of fire ants to 4 kilometers.

Bacon emphasized that the distance covered by the same species in a year can reach 48 kilometers in the US and 80 kilometers in China, and billions of dollars are spent in these countries to prevent invasion.

Within the scope of the program, red fire ant nests are poisoned to prevent the proliferation of the invasive species.

Researchers estimate that the red fire ants, native to the South African continent, entered the continent 23 years ago through the Port of Brisbane in the west of the country and spread across the region in the north of New South Wales and the south of Queensland.

The species, which measures between 2.4 and 6.0 millimeters in size, releases a pheromone when it bites, causing the entire herd to attack at the same time.

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