Self-treatment of fire ants
If you live in South East Queensland, you can self-treat fire ants by:
- purchasing and spreading your own fire ant bait
- hiring a pest manager to treat the fire ants.
Benefits of self-treatment
Self-treatment is an integral part of the program's 10-year eradication plan. Opting to self-treat fire ants on your property or worksite gives business, industry and the public the option to suppress the pest in areas awaiting eradication treatment.
By carrying out self-treatment you can:
- act quickly to respond to fire ant nests
- choose a treatment method that works best for your property
- implement a baiting plan to prevent fire ants from becoming established on your property.
You always have the option of waiting for free treatment by the program.
Do it yourself
Residential properties, farmland, sporting fields and parks can all be treated for fire ants by the people who occupy or manage the land.
To treat fire ants yourself, you can purchase fire ant bait from:
- local retailers
- pest chemical suppliers
- online retailers (search for 'fire ant bait').
The program does not endorse any particular fire ant bait on the market. However, we do offer free online training for anyone wanting to learn more about the super pest and how to treat them correctly.
The Pest Management Act is anticipated to be updated mid-2021 to allow more types of businesses to self-treat. In the meantime, businesses can hire a licensed pest manager to treat on their behalf or they can up-skill their staff with a pest management license.
For more information about bait, read the use of fire ant bait.
Hire a pest manager
Some pest managers have completed fire ant specific training offered by the program and were taught the most effective way to treat the invasive pest. These pest managers are independent business owners and are not attached to the program. They will charge you a fee for this service and we recommend you obtain a quote before proceeding. The prices charged by pest managers are not set by the program and vary greatly between companies.
- Shop around as prices can vary.
- Ensure the pest manger you hire is licensed under the Pest Management Act.
- Pest manager's (not companies) who complete the program's fire ant training are provided a certificate of attendance – they will be happy to share this with you.
- Ask what treatment method and insecticides the pest manager will use. They may apply:
- fire ant bait – this should be an insect growth regulator (IGR) or fast-acting bait (depending on site assessment)
- direct nest injection (DNI) – fipronil at a rate of 25mL per 100L is the only insecticide approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).
During and after treatment
- Reporting fire ants to the program is a legal requirement under the Biosecurity Act 2014. Ask if the infestation and subsequent treatment has been reported to the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program. You can even ask for the report number (i.e. 'ANT-number').
- Request a copy of the job docket – this should outline what insecticides were used on your property and at what rate it was dispersed.
- Seek advice on:
- what to do to ensure the treatment provided has the best chance of success. This may include not disturbing the treatment area for a specific period of time
- when to expect the ants to die and what to do if they do not.
If you have any questions about self-treatment on your property or work site, phone 13 25 23 and ask to speak to the self-treatment team.