Preventing the spread of invasive ants after a natural disaster

Natural disasters such as floods and cyclones can affect invasive ant infestations, which may require specific follow-up activity. Invasive ants under eradication in Queensland are red imported fire ants and electric ants.

After a natural disaster, there is potential for invasive ants to be spread:

  • Equipment used in restoration work and fodder distribution may spread ants.
  • Ants may spread by being transported in flood or cyclone debris being cleared from disaster-affected properties.
  • The disaster can create ideal conditions for invasive ants to breed.

Landowner responsibilities

Fire ants and electric ants are category 1 restricted matter under the Biosecurity Act 2014. Biosecurity Queensland is delivering eradication programs for invasive ants, but all members of the community have a role to play. Residents, businesses and government agencies must appropriately dispose of items that could carry invasive ants, and report any suspect ants to Biosecurity Queensland by calling 13 25 23.

After a natural disaster, you should:

  • check for invasive ants when working on clean-up activities and report suspect ants. Biosecurity Queensland works with government agencies, industry and community groups to manage invasive ant issues that emerge from natural disasters
  • comply with biosecurity regulations when moving items that could carry invasive ants
  • cooperate with biosecurity officers to ensure regular eradication activities can be carried out
  • continue to check your property or work site over time for any suspicious ants or nests.

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