Electric ants in Queensland

Electric ants are a serious invasive pest that have the potential to impact our outdoor lifestyle, unique environment and profitable agriculture.

For this reason, electric ants are category 1 restricted matter under the Biosecurity Act 2014. Under the Act, all Queenslanders have a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to manage biosecurity risks and threats that are under their control, they know about or they are expected to know about.

Under the Act, an electric ant biosecurity zone has been established in 5 council areas in Far North Queensland: Cairns Regional, Cassowary Coast Regional, Tablelands Regional, Mareeba Shire and the Douglas Shire. The biosecurity zone restricts the movement of materials that can spread electric ants (electric ant carriers). Different movement restrictions apply within the biosecurity zone, and are dependent on the level of risk.

Electric ants live in soil and most materials that touch soil, including plant and inorganic materials. Moving any electric ant carriers poses a serious risk of spreading electric ants.

This guide explains how to identify and report suspect ants, how your business can comply with movement controls and deal with electric ant carriers, and how the current surveillance and treatment programs work.