BOUGAINVILLE ON ALERT FOR SOLOMON'S RED ANTS

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Species from Solomons can be dangerous to plants and animals

The invasion of the ants from the Solomon Islands into Bougainville is a major concern, according to Bougainvilleans.

Ants from the Solomon Islands are said to be dangerous and not only harmful to plants but also to animals.

A farmer from a remote area in Tinputz, South Bougainville, who asked not to be named, said the invasion was a major concern because local pests which can be helpful to plants are being killed by the ants.

Domestic animals are also victims because the ants sting their eyes. The farmer said a number of birds have been found dead after they were bitten by the ants in the eye.

"When dogs and cats eat something greasy it sort of attracts the ants and as a result they get bitten by not only one but a thousand ants."

"When birds fight and get wounded and a sore appears on the body, they are vulnerable to be attacked by those ants and some die." the farmer said.

The farmer said at one stage his fingers got swollen up when he was bitten by the ants.

"The only cure if you want to prevent your body from swelling is to stay in water or wash."

According to NAQIA Buka, these ants often come out when it rains to find hiding places and sometimes end up in houses.

The ants were said to have migrated to Bougainville through exchange of food garden produces and other items.

The ants have now spread from Buin in the south to Buka in the north and it is feared might cross over to Rabaul Lae and Port Moresby through ships that served the islands.

People have complained of itchiness to their skins when bitten by the ant and it is becoming annoying to a lot of people, especially farmers and gardeners.

The biggest fear now is that the ants are getting into food products like rice, sugar, and plants especially flowers.

Here, the ants are known as "red ant

 

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