Argentine Ants – a spreading problem

After seeing the effort and success of DoC’s Tasman great white butterfly campaign, DR Kay Sneddon and Andrew Goldsworthy wondered whether they could find a method to combat the Argentine ant invasion of Nelson that began in 2001.


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DR Kay Sneddon and Andrew Goldsworthy

ant-2Why are Argentine Ants spreading so quickly?

One reason Argentine ants spread fast and dominate other species is that they can have hundreds of queens in one nest.  Conventional residual bait ant treatments can cause those queens to disperse and form multiple new nests, a process called budding. They can have multiple queens in one nest and hundreds of queens in one colony.

Tackling the problem

Drawing on her background as an environmental scientist used to tackling community problems in South East Asia, and on research pioneered in America, Kay developed a low concentration Borax based bait (BBB) that gradually reaches and neutralises the Argentine ant queens.

About the recipe

The recipe contains only naturally occurring ingredients that are of very low toxicity to pets and humans. These are locally available and affordable because this method will only succeed if people are able and willing to act methodically and collectively.

We need to copy the ants to have any chance of slowing their advance, let alone beating them!

→ CLICK HERE to view and download the Argentine Ant Bait Recipe.

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