Fire ants have been found in a number of places within Queensland. Each property in an infested area must be treated by Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries (QPI&F) to eradicate the fire ant. This may affect your property.
Why fire ants are a serious problem
Fire ants are a serious problem because of their sting which can cause a painful, buring and itching sensation (like the body is on fire) lasting for an hour. These small red ants are extremely aggressive and should not be touched.
What do fire ants look like?
Fire ants look very much like ordinary house or garden ants and:
- are small and coppery-brown in colour on the head and body, with a darker abdomen
- come in a variety of sizes within one nest, ranging from 2mm to 6mm. This is a distinguishing feature of fire ants.
- have nests with no obvious entry or exit holes on top of them.
- can be distinguished by their aggressive behaviour, particularly near the nest.
Their nests can appear as dome-shaped mounds, up to 40cm high, or can be found next to, or underneath timber, logs, rocks, pavers or bricks. Mounds are not always evident, but are usually found in open areas such as lawns, pastures, along roadsides and unused cropland. This species can easily be confused with the common coastal brown ant, as well as some local native ants.
What to do if you see a fire ant on your property
- Do not touch them
Contact the QPI&F website at www.dpi.qld.gov.au. A Call Centre officer will ask you a series of questions to help determine the type of ant you have discovered and whether an immediate visit to your property is required.
For information on the National Fire Ant Eradication Program, please:
- call the QPI&F Call Centre on 13 25 23
- visit the QPI&F website at www.dpi.qld.gov.au