Phone Biosecurty - Ph. 13 25 23 in the first instance and obtain a reference number of confirmation of your report. Notify FMHelpdesk and advise of the action taken; request a hazard report be raised
Follow these steps when conducting fire ant surveillance:
Ensure you wear appropriate personal protective equipment such as boots and gloves.
Check the following areas :
Lawns - Fire ants dont like too much shade, so open grassy areas in the sun are very appealing.
However nests can be difficult to spot in long grass.
Footpaths - Fire ants are drawn to open, warm areas, particularly footpaths and driveways.
Garden beds - As they are drawn to disturbed soil, fire ants are often found in or around garden beds,
particularly if recent planting has taken place and theres not too much shade.
Taps - Fire ants are often found near water sources such as taps, sprinklers and pools of water.
Utility pits - Fire ants construct an underground network of tunnels from which they forage and can
nest in cavities or voids in the ground. Utility pits for water, gas or telephone, for example, are
sometimes occupied by fire ants.
Dams and irrigation lines - Fire ants like to nest near water sources, particularly around the edge of
dam and irrigation lines. Look for a mound (especially in Winter), or any soil disturbance that could
potentially be a nest or foraging tunnel.
Edges of cultivated land - Fire ants that establish in cropped areas often migrate to the headlands or
edges of the crop to escape mechanical soil tillage which may disrupt their nest. Fence lines - Fire ant nests are often found under fence lines or alongside fence posts where there is
likely to be less disruption by tillage or mowing.
Piles of organic matter - Fire ants are particularly attracted to piles of organic matter such as mulch,
compost, animal manure, poultry litter, hay or fodder from which they use for food or shelter.
No obvious entry or exit holes
Come in various shapes and sizes
Can be mounds or just some loose soil
Can be found under and around logs, rocks and garden material
Location of nests:
Fire ant mounds are not always easily identifiable. They can be up to 40cm high, but may also be flat
and look like a small patch of disturbed soil. They are usually found in open areas such as lawns,
pastures, along roadsides and unused cropland.
Nests are also found next to or under other objects on the ground, such as timber, logs, rocks, pavers
Distribution in Australia
Aggressive, particularly near the nest
Can inflict a painful sting
Small 2-6 mm
Variety of sizes within each nest
Head and body are coppery-brown, abdomen is darker
Fire ants have been found in South East Queensland (SEQ), around Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich,
Redland and Scenic Rim. Isolated infestations have been found in SEQ north of the Gold Coast, in
the Lockyer Valley and in Yarwun, Central Queensland. Consult a map of the current fire ant
biosecurity zones from the website if required.
What is the exact location of the area assessed?
Have fire ants been detected?
If so, has Biosecurity and FM Help been notified?