Surveillance program for electric ants

Conducting regular surveillance for electric ants is vital to prevent the spread of this serious pest.

Formal surveillance by Biosecurity Queensland field officers uses a range of techniques that consist of both food lures and traps using a three-dimensional approach—that is, looking not just on the ground but also up into trees, and on and in houses.

A variety of these techniques are used to ensure the tiny pest is detected if it is present, including:

  • hotdog sausage lures
  • peanut butter-lured pit-fall traps
  • canopy traps
  • gutter traps
  • in-house traps.

Surveillance by field officers

Footpath and targeted surveillance are efficient and effective methods of detecting electric ant in residential areas.

To attract the ants, field officers use hotdog sausage lures that are attached to pink taped wooden skewers. These lures do not contain chemicals and are safe if a pet accidentally consumes them.

Do not remove the lures - if you have any queries or concerns, contact Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

Sniffer dogs and abseilers are also used in the surveillance program. Sniffer dogs are able to detect electric ants with great accuracy and abseilers can put lures in hard-to-reach places. These tools increase confidence in surveillance results.

Reporting electric ants

Community participation is required to successfully control electric ants, although they are not easy to identify because of their small size. We ask that everyone search their yard, business and community and report any small stinging pest by phoning Biosecurity Queensland.

If you reported once before and had a negative result, please do not hesitate to contact us again as we may find electric ants on a return visit.

If you are stung and experience a reaction, seek medical advice.

To report suspect ants, you can:

Electric ants are tiny and slow-moving and form foraging trails.

Electric ants are tiny and form slow-moving foraging trails.