B.C. to tackle fire ant invasion
Posted: Jun 25, 2012 11:05 AM PT
Last Updated: Jun 25, 2012 11:04 AM PT
British Columbia's growing population of European fire ants is getting more attention from municipalities in the Metro Vancouver area.
The Invasive Species Council of B.C. will meet with experts on Tuesday to develop a strategy for tackling the invasive ant species, which has been in B.C.'s southern coast for a few years.
The thin, red ants have been found around Chilliwack, North Vancouver, Victoria and Burnaby and, unlike native fire ants, can be aggressive.
Although only four millimetres long, the ants are known to swarm and sting people and pets if disturbed, causing swelling and in some cases, emergency treatment.
Abdul Majid, president of the Burnaby and Region Allotment Gardens Association, said his group's members are now fighting European fire ants in almost 200 community garden plots.
"We have started giving out traps and baits to our members," he said.
'You get really intense heavy infestations on one city block, but immediately across the street the residents will be completely unaware that there is a problem.'—Rob Higgins, entomologist
"We can see the spread. It's quite prevalent," Majid said.
Rob Higgins, an entomologist, has been tracking the spread of the European fire ant for more than a year.
He said this invasive species is aggressive, and tends to form multiple colonies close together, which can make it hard for people to use their yards, gardens or even parks.
"They kind of move sort of a dense nest profile slowly forward on the landscape but they don't like to cross paved roads.
"So you get really intense heavy infestations on one city block, but immediately across the street the residents will be completely unaware that there is a problem," he said.
Higgins said he is concerned that the behaviour of the colonies is changing — for the worse.
"Now that these ant colonies, which were probably introduced a number of years ago, are starting to get large, they are becoming more aggressive," Higgins said.
Higgins said he is planning on touring the Lower Mainland to investigate other possible colonies.With files from the CBC's Emily Elias
Latest British Columbia News Headlines
- B.C. girl killed after 11-year-old crashes jeep
- A 12-year-old girl was killed after a jeep driven by an 11-year-old girl flipped over on a forestry road in northern B.C. on Friday. more »
- Illegal tree cutting nets charges for arborist, homeowners
- Two home owners and an arborist in North Vancouver have been charged with illegally cutting down trees in a North Vancouver park to improve their views. more »
- Emmanuel Arceneaux happy to be back with B.C. Lions
- The B.C. Lions announced Tuesday that Emmanuel Arceneaux has reached an agreement to return to the team after spending time on NFL rosters. more »
- Whitehorse RCMP seize cocaine, cash from 3 B.C. men
- Three B.C. men have been charged with drug offences after Whitehorse RCMP seized 60 grams of cocaine from their hotel room. more »
Top News Headlines
- Oklahoma tornado death count not firm, governor says
- The number of deaths caused by the Oklahoma tornado may yet rise, Gov. Mary Fallin indicates, saying there have been 237 injuries reported in the aftermath of the storm 16 kilometres south of Oklahoma City. more »
- Children driven around too much, Canadian report suggests
- Fewer Canadian kids are commuting by walking or biking as a new report reveals a marked decline among young people using active modes of transportation. more »
- Senate set to debate expense audits amid greater scrutiny
- The Senate will debate its own committee's reports into living expenses claimed by three senators Tuesday night in a session that could see Senator Mike Duffy's claims sent back for a second audit. more »
- 'Speculation' in Bosma death unfair to accused, says lawyer
- "Speculation" surrounding the accused, Dellen Millard, in the case of Timothy Bosma's death is unfairly poisoning the suspect's image, his lawyer said Tuesday. more »
- Canadian on EI shut out amid foreign worker influx
- B.C. man feared kidnapped in Mexico
- Drug users sue Abbotsford over anti-harm reduction bylaw
- Motorcyclist dead after head-on crash on Lions Gate Bridge
- Traffic circle accidents worry Kitsilano residents
- Vancouver man attacked, killed in Costa Rica
- B.C. co-op fights federal 'local' food guideline changes
- Nanaimo Facebook group takes aim at thieves
- Vancouver link to Hadfield's space guitar