Fire ants in Queensland

Find out about your legal obligations if you are moving fire ant carriers in fire ant biosecurity zones.

Fire ants are dangerous, imported pests that could spread to large areas of Australia. Fire ants could severely damage the environment, our outdoor lifestyle, and the agriculture and tourism industries. They inflict a painful, fiery sting, which can in rare cases cause a severe acute allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).

First detected in the Brisbane area in February 2001, these South American ants pose a serious social, economic and environmental threat. Fire ants are a category 1 restricted pest under the Biosecurity Act 2014, so landholders must report suspected sightings of fire ants on their property to Biosecurity Queensland or they may face heavy fines.

The National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program has made significant progress in eradicating fire ants from Australia. Surveillance is ongoing, and treatment and containment measures are continuing in areas of South East Queensland where the ants have been detected.

It is essential that you remain vigilant and report any suspected sightings to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

This guide will help you identify and effectively respond to fire ants.