Fire ants

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Fire ant biosecurity zones are changing on 7 June 2021. Find out more.

Fire ants are aggressive, highly adaptive and well-equipped for survival. They are considered category 1 restricted matter under the Biosecurity Act 2014. This means all landowners must report sightings within 24 hours, and if outside the eradication areas, take action to treat the pest.

Find out more about industry-focused fire ant treatment projects.

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 involves an intensive and targeted eradication effort over four geographic areas in South East Queensland, spanning from Lockyer Valley in the west to Redlands in the east, north to Moreton Bay and south to the Gold Coast.

Three years into the plan, residents in the Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and parts of Ipswich (Area 1) are telling us: “there used to be fire ants, now there are none.”

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 penalties.

Fire ant biosecurity zones are also in place to help manage the movement of materials that could spread fire ants such as soil, hay, turf and other carriers.