Fire Ant Alert

10th December 2023

Fire Ants UPDATE:

Fire ants infest around 600,000 ha in South East Queensland, close to the NSW boarder which poses an ongoing risk of new infestations in NSW. Most of NSW has been free of fire ants. A recent new infestation in South Murwillumbah is currently being treated, with the goal of eradication. A previous infestation at Port Botany was successfully eradicated. The movement of fire ant carrier material from fire ant infested areas is prohibited unless certain conditions are met (see).

Free 15-20 minute online training is available at: the National Fire Ant Eradication Program. This website also include materials and resources to help you prepare and raise awareness.

Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta) are fast moving, aggressive ants with a severe burning sting. Because they attack in swarms, they can cause multiple bites in one event, creating the sensation of being on fire. They are harmful to people, livestock and wildlife and consequently impact recreational and agricultural activities. Currently, there are large infestations in South Eastern Queensland and these are known to be expanding and have been sited near the border of NSW.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries has recently escalated the Fire Ant emergency response to ALERT. This Emergency Order restricts the movement of materials that may carry fire ants throughout the border regions. Carrier materials include hay and baled material, plants and soil, including earthmoving equipment, mining or quarry materials. Penalties apply if these materials are found during Authorised inspections. It is important that members of the community familiarise themselves with Fire Ants and their nests. NSW DPI gives helpful identification tips and warnings at: Red Imported Fire Ants.

Please check you properties and if you suspect the presence of fire ant nests, please contact NSW DPI on 1800 680 244, or your local shire council, so these can be targeted early.

Fire ant nest