Frequently Asked Questions

Why eradicate yellow crazy ants?

Imagine you are walking through a forest and all you can hear is the rustling of trees. The forest is silent and no native animal or critter can be seen, they are gone. The ants have destroyed the natural environment. You look down and the ground is moving, carpeted by hundreds of thousands of yellow ants. The ants move erratically and they’re heading for your feet, more and more ants follow and crawl up your leg so you run, hoping the ants won’t fall from the trees. You run out of the forest with great relief and the forest is silent once again.

That is the impact of yellow crazy ants once they are established in an ecosystem, which is why we need to eradicate them.

What’s the cost to the community?

If yellow crazy ants are left unchecked our outdoor lifestyle would be doomed.

To swim in your pool you’d have to skim it first. Having a BBQ outside becomes irritating. Your pets are injured and sometimes even temporarily blinded by formic acid spray. You can’t hear frogs croaking, and the lizards in your backyard are gone. 

As the ant colonies grow they’ll move into the home and live in your appliances, you’ll find your toaster, television and computer have all stopped working. They’ll crawl on you at night and can spray formic acid if distrubed, the formic acid builds up on your skin, causing your skin to irritate. Moist areas on your body like your eyes and mouth are vulnerable. This is where the ants can cause damage. 

According to a report commissioned by Wet Tropics Management Authority, the social and economic costs to our region is more than $6 billion over the next 30 years. The report is a cost-benefit analysis to demonstrate the environmental and socioeconomic benefits of the Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program over the next 30 years. A summary of the report can be found here. 

Are sticky traps and lures safe?

Yes, the sticky traps and lures we use to find yellow crazy ants are safe and harmless to people, pets and wildlife. The lure used to attract ants on the ground and in a sticky trap is cat food and jam. No pesticides are added.

I was stung by a tiny gingery ant. Could it be a pest ant?

It could be an electric ant. Electric ants are native to South America but were discovered in Far North Queensland in 2006. Electric ants are a category 1 restricted matter under the Biosecurity Act 2014 and have the potential to impact our outdoor lifestyle, unique environment and tourism and agricultural industries. The National Electric Ant Eradication Program is tasked with eradicating this serious invasive pest ant from Far North Queensland. To learn more about electric ants, or book a free yard check, visit daf.qld.gov.au/anthunt or call Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

Can I join a yellow crazy ant taskforce? Yes!

Kuranda– Workshops setting traps, door-knocking, invasive ant surveillance in public areas

Cairns – Visit other volunteer groups, attend festivals with our yellow crazy ant info stall, guest speaker presentations, invasive ant identification workshops

Townsville– Contact bevjob@invasives.org.au to get involved in a yellow crazy ant taskforce in Townsville or fill in their form here.

Online– Join the BonANTza BioQuest here

What is the BonANTza BioQuest?

BonANTza eco-hunt is a bio-quest played on your phone or tablet via the QuestaGame app. It’s like David Attenborough cross Pokemon Go online game.

The app is a free, fun and interactive online biodiversity game that is helping people get out and enjoy nature in the Wet Tropic’s. Players can compete to capture sightings, collect gold and move up in rank through taking photos and identifying species.

By playing the game you help map species of ants across the Cairns region and ultimately help protect life, with sightings contributing to research and conservation and maybe identification of invasive species.

Simply download the QuestaGame app on your phone, register and join the BioQuest and you’re set to go.

How can I get involved?

Just by showing up to a Taskforce activity, you become a Taskforce member. Register your interest here and we’ll let you know what taskforce activity is happening next.

Can’t volunteer but want to stay in the loop? Join the mailing list for monthly updates on what we’ve been up to, survey results and upcoming events here.

Like and follow our Facebook page @ycacommunitytaskforce /Yellow Crazy Ant Community Taskforce for Taskforce news, events, videos and articles.

If you think you have found yellow crazy ants

collect a specimen and report them to the Yellow Crazy Ant Eradication Program
on 1800 CRAZY ANT or 07 4241 0525