Fire ants

Learn how to identify, report and treat fire ants in your backyard.

Fire ant treatment season continues as an essential service across South East Queensland in both eradication and targeted suppression areas, despite COVID-19. Fire ants are Category 1 restricted matter and have the potential to severely impact the health and way of life for all Australians.

The National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program teams are adhering to social distancing and other strategies to keep you and the field teams safe throughout the current pandemic, so please work with our staff to have your property treated.

If you have received a notice indicating that your property is scheduled for treatment, please ensure you complete a property information form and alert us to any potential issues or information we need to be aware of prior to treatment.

Fire ants are a ‘super pest’—aggressive, highly-adaptive and well-equipped for survival. They are considered category 1 restricted matter under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

The National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program has successfully eradicated 5 incursions of the pest, and is working on a sixth.

Our 10-year eradication plan is currently focusing on the western edge of the infestation in the Lockyer Valley. The program will gradually work through Ipswich, Logan, the Gold Coast and Redlands over the coming years.

Just 2 years into the plan, and residents in parts of the Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and the Ipswich local government area are telling us the strategy is working. Watch a video of landholders telling us—“there used to be fire ants, now there are none.”

We are raising awareness that biosecurity threats are an issue for the whole community, from individual property owners and businesses to public landowners such as councils. Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, everyone, including individuals and organisations, has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take all reasonable steps to prevent the spread of fire ants. Queenslanders are legally required to report suspected sightings of fire ants within 24 hours of their discovery or face heavy fines.

We have put fire ant biosecurity zones in place to help manage the movement of materials that could spread fire ants such as soil, hay, turf and other carriers. Learn more about what we are doing to prevent the spread of fire ants.