ISCBC commended action of Burnaby garden centre
Burnaby: A garden centre in Burnaby witnessed bug-ridden presence of invasive European fire ants. Scott Pearce with Gardenworks says after the invasive ants were found, the nursery moved all their plants away from that area.
Fire ant expert Rob Higgins with Thompson Rivers University, says the ants are difficult to kill and can deliver a vicious sting to unsuspecting humans and other animals. Pesticides aren’t effective and the ants’ sting can hurt for hours and itch for days. Higgins advises everyone to check potted plants before bringing them home.
Fire ants seem similar to native ant species. They are medium-sized and reddish-brown in color, but when disturbed can swarm in the thousands
According to the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia, the European Fire Ant will build very dense nests – up to 12 in a three metre area. Surface pesticides are ineffective.
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations website says The ants were first discovered in B.C. in 2010. Since then, biologists have found outbreaks in 24 different areas of Metro Vancouver. European fire ants prefer moist environments, making irrigated lawns and gardens on the West Coast of BC an ideal place to grow.
Gail Wallin, Executive Director, ISCBC said, ” The Invasive Species Council of BC commends the Burnaby garden centre which recently went public about its troubles with an infestation of European Fire Ants. By coming forward, GardenWorks has shown leadership in informing the public about the dangers of invasive species and ways to minimize their spread.”
“ISCBC has a wealth of resources available for the public, industry, governments and educators through the PlantWise program and on its website at bcinvasives.ca,” he added.