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Thousands of fire ants form rafts to survive Queensland flood waters

Fire ants are forming rafts to survive and travel on flood waters in Australia, as experts warn wild weather may accelerate the spread of one of the world’s most invasive species.

The Invasive Species Council has called on communities in southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales to be on the alert for fire ants, warning that the recent heavy rainfall in the region could accelerate the spread of the deadly pest.

Rare footage shows the ants forming “large floating rafts” which move with water currents to establish footholds in new areas.

Fire ants have a painful sting that can be deadly to people and livestock and they also damage infrastructure and ecosystems.

They have already infested about 700,000 hectares in the Brisbane area.