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Agriculture Farming Rural, Environment

Aussie answer to the invasive red fire ant problem uniquely formulated for farmers here

Sundew Professional Solutions 3 mins read
Small but highly aggressive fire ants are 2-6mm long. A single nest can contain many different sized ants. Fire ants can adapt to most climates and environments around the world. They invade both indoor and outdoor spaces.

An Australian solution to counter infestations of highly destructive red imported fire ants has been developed here to provide a cost-effective solution to help farmers, horticulturalists, and landholders fearing damage to crops and livestock as the highly invasive pests spread south.


Fire ants could cost the Australian economy billions of dollars per year, if left unchecked here, according to the National Fire Ant Eradication programme. “Fire ants have the potential to surpass the combined damage done each year by our worst pests: feral cats, wild dogs, foxes, camels, rabbits and cane toads,” says the RIFA programme. The invasive pest is capable of forming colonies in 99 per cent of mainland Australia and most of Tasmania if left unchecked.


ANTagonistPRO polymer enhanced insecticide spray from Sundew Professional Solutions has been developed to help prevent this happening – and to respond to the problem in areas where the ants are already present, including Queensland, where the ants arrived in 2001, and in Northern NSW, where the ants have spread since.


ANTagonistPRO is a rapid response large area treatment, as well as a biosecurity transport protection treatment, to stop ant infestations and invasions.


“Prevention and treatment are especially important at this time of the year, as autumn approaches, when the highly invasive and mobile ants become more active while the soil is warm and the days are milder,” says Sundew CEO David Priddy. These aggressive ants are the ultimate hitchhiker – they will move around on vehicles and even floodwaters,” to infest new areas.


His company has spent 10 years developing, testing, and refining ANTagonist PRO as Australia’s only approved spray treatment that can be applied rapidly over large surface areas by tractors, utes, quad bikes, and other farm vehicles equipped with boom sprays.


Such spray applications – as opposed to slower and more expensive baiting or spearing and injecting of ant nests – mean large areas can be treated extremely quickly, at a fraction of the cost of other methods, with 100 per cent eradication of Red Imported Fire Ants in treated areas, says David.


Sundew has conducted extensive research and product development on the ground in Australia. Several options currently being used locally rely on data from overseas, where the environmental conditions are vastly different to Australia.  Sundew has invested heavily in local development work, so that relevant local data is acquired.


“As Australians We don’t want that happening here and we can help prevent it,” says David, who formerly worked within one of the world’s largest multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies before forming his own Australian-owned family company to provide solutions suited to Australian conditions.


ANTagonistPRO – which is complemented by Sundew’s SAS PRO rapid response direct nest treatment to kill individual nests – is weatherproof and will not wash away once dry and doesn’t need to be reapplied. It will last up to six months on treated surfaces, says David. In addition, ANTagonistPRO is the only RIFA-approved concentrate product for applying to vehicles, earthmoving equipment, recreational vehicles, shipping containers, contractor and transport vehicles, as well as agricultural equipment, reducing the risk that RIFA can be moved from property to property.


“This treatment can be applied to large areas to massively reduce time, costs, and physical effort required compared with the slower baiting and spearing methods originally approved by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, DAF.


“We believe this method is a big step forward in countering what may well become a national issue if left unchecked. We have already got the runs on the board from working with professional pest controllers. We believe the message needs to be heard more widely and sooner rather than later.”

About us:

Sundew Professional Solutions is a family owned 100% Australian business employing local families and manufacturing facilities in Australia and New Zealand to produce all of our products. We utilise the services of local Australian research companies, registration professionals, and chemical laboratories. With more than 25 Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) approvals during this time, Sundew presently exceeds its peers in developing innovative state-of-the-art formulations and technology for the professional pest management and other associated segments.

Sundew's red imported fire ant (RIFA) solutions are the result of years of extensive research and development undertaken in south east Queensland since 2011. Sundew offers innovative solutions to quickly eliminate large fire ant infestations as well as protect vehicles from inadvertently moving fire ants between locations.

Contact details:

Jack Mallen-Cooper
PR Consultant
Whyte Public Relations
(02) 9901 4306


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