Turf management in fire ant restricted areas

Turf from fire ant biosecurity zones is considered a high risk for spreading fire ants.

The Biosecurity Regulation 2016 prescribes management techniques that you must follow when moving with turf from within a fire ant biosecurity zone.

You must follow these management techniques, unless:

  • the material is moved directly to a waste facility (zone restrictions apply)
  • or
  • the material has been at the property for less than 24 hours.

If you are unable to comply with these conditions then you must request a biosecurity instrument permit from an inspector.

Management techniques

The timely treatment of turf with the correct application of insecticide can help to minimise the risk of fire ant infestation.

Treatment of turf

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has approved 2 chemicals for the control of fire ants on commercial turf farms. They are:

  • 500g/L chlorpyrifos—refer to APVMA permit number PER13505 (expires 30 September 2022).
  • 80g/L bifenthrin—refer to APVMA permit number PER14317 (expires 31 December 2021).

You can search for permits on the APVMA website.

All use of insecticides must be in accordance with the conditions of the permit and in conjunction with the product’s label.

Treating with chlorpyrifos

Treat the turf at least 48 hours before lifting and move off-site within 28 days of the last treatment, otherwise it will need to be re-treated. The treated area should be irrigated immediately after treatment with at least 10–15mm of water.

Treating with bifenthrin

Treat the turf at least 28 days before lifting and movement. Two treatments are required with a minimum interval of 7 days between treatments. Irrigate the treated area with 4–6mm of water soon after treatment. Re-treatment will be required if the turf has not been moved off-site within 28 days of the last treatment.

For further information contact a Biosecurity Queensland inspector on 13 25 23.

Keeping a record

A written record must be kept stating the chemical product used and the way it was used for the treatment.

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