27 Aug 2014

Yellow crazy ants cause havoc in Tuvalu

6:50 pm on 27 August 2014

The Pacific Invasives Initiative Project says it is unfortunate the yellow crazy ant is causing problems in Tuvalu.

The ants destroy crops, attack wildlife such as chickens, and release an acid that burns on contact.

The Tuvalu Government says the yellow crazy ants had been causing problems on Funafuti and now residents on Nanumea are reporting problems.

A co-ordinator with the initiative, Bill Nagle, says the only way to destroy the ants is to kill the queen but the traditional toxin used is poisonous and a threat to other invertebrates like crabs.

"They need to get in specialist assistance to determine the spread or population of these ants and from there a decision can be made about whether or not it will be necessary to introduce toxins."

Bill Nagle says he is disappointed the ants have spread to Tuvalu because it means there has been a lapse in bio-security between Pacific countries.