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Fire Ants. Disclaimer. This PowerPoint is for informational purposes only. If you are required to do Fire Ant Training as part of your Approved Risk Management Plan, please contact 13 25 23 or visit our website to make a booking

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  • This PowerPoint is for informational purposes only. If you are required to do Fire Ant Training as part of your Approved Risk Management Plan, please contact 13 25 23 or visit our website to make a booking
  • Attending Fire ant training conducted by a Biosecurity Queensland officer enables you to conduct on-site monitoring:
    • before commencing a job in the Fire Ant Restricted Area
    • follow up surveillance every 28 days
what are they
Invasive pestfrom South America..Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina

Aggressive invaders thatswarm and attack when disturbed

First reported in February 2001 at Port of Brisbane & Wacol/Richlands

Probably been here up to 25 years before they were first reported

What are they?

Program Overview

Please click here to view

National Fire Ant Eradication Program video


Nest structure

Various shapes and sizes

Soft sifted soil, usually mound shaped but can be found under objects that retain heat

Nest structure

Photo from Texas A&M University

Move nests readily if disturbed

Wind assisted flights of mated queens

Hundreds of km per year if human assisted

Restricted items

  • Soil(includes: fill, clay, overburden, scrapings, topsoil, decomposed granite (deco) and any other material from the ground)
  • Mulch
  • Manure
  • Bark
  • Hay
  • Pot plants/potting media
  • Turf
  • Sleepers/Logs
  • Gravels
  • Poultry Litter

Photo form Texas A & M University

Swarm and attack when disturbed

Coppery-brown colour with a darker abdomen

Various sizes between 2-6mm, all sizes would be present within the one nest

Photo from Texas A & M University

Fire ant recognition

Fire ant stings after 48hours

Lesion development

Fire ant stings after 5 mins

  • Fire ant stings cause aburning sensation(hence the name ‘fire ants’)
  • Multiple stingsfrom multiple ants
  • Stings are painful and can form blisters that can take weeks to heal
  • The more frequently you get stung the more severe your reactions

Fire ant stings after 1 week



Insert link to anaphalaxis video


About the sting

Photo: Dr Craig Allen

Texas A&M University

Secondary infection from fire ant stings.

In the United States,14 million people are stung annuallyand there have been more than100 reported deathsfrom anaphylactic shock

Photo from Texas A&M University

Wildlife andecosystems effected

seed damage alters plant distribution

reduces other insect populations – domino effect

endangered species impacted

prevents wildlife getting near water

Texas A & M University

Texas A & M University


Fire ants attacking a baby turtle


Herron chick


Photo from Texas A & M University

Texas A & M University



  • death, blindness &


  • reduced nutrition & quality
  • fire ants can kill young calves and feed on dead stock


  • 57 commercialcrops attackedin U.S
  • damage to seeds, roots, stems, fruit & equipment
  • deters hand labour

Sorghum seeds

If you suspect a nest as being fire ants

report it toBiosecurity Queenslandon

13 25 23

Suspect ants

What happens next?

  • No restricted items are to be moved off site until nest inspected by

Biosecurity Queensland staff

  • Sample taken, if confirmed as fire ants they’ll be treated
  • If site is infested, additional movement controls may apply

Restricted Area

Please click here and follow the links to view the

Fire Ant Restricted Area map (South East Queensland)

Fire Ant Restricted Area map (Gladstone)

List of suburbs found within the high and low risk restricted areas (South east Queensland)

For nurseries and organisations wishing to move plants interstate please view the Interstate Plant Quarantine map (South East Queensland)

view the Interstate Plant Quarantine map (Gladstone)



Different rules apply for residence, please refer here

Fire Ants are a‘notifiable pest’under the

Plant Protection Act 1989

Under the Plant Protection Act 1989, and its associated Regulations, penalties apply:

Up to$22,770for providing false or misleading information

Up to $227,700for individuals and

Up to $1,138,500for corporations moving live fire ants or breaching the control regulations




For additional resources please visit

or call

13 25 23