Treatment of fire ants at workplaces and on worksites

Fire ant biosecurity zones are changing on 7 June 2021. Find out more.

Fire ants can have devastating consequences on our environment, economy, human health and outdoor way of life.

This is why it's important for everyone—including industry—to manage fire ant treatment on properties they own or manage.

It is a legal requirement under the Biosecurity Act 2014 to take all reasonable steps to ensure fire ants do not spread. This means reporting fire ants within 24 hours of finding them and treating them.

By managing fire ants yourself 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.

To help get the ball rolling, we're running some of Australia's first industry fire ant treatment projects to encourage contractors to play their part in the fight against fire ants. The Pest Management Act is expected to be updated in 2021 to enable more business types to treat fire ants themselves.

Fire ant treatment options

If you find fire ants on a commercial property you own or manage, including a workplace or worksite, you have 2 options.

1. Manage fire ants yourself

Contractors who have a pest management licence can purchase fire ant bait from local and online retailers, to treat the nests themselves. If they have the correct equipment, they are also able to treat nests using liquid insecticide.

If you do treat fire ants yourself, you must let us know. Use the online account you created to report the ants, or phone 13 25 23.

Fire ant treatment training is available for contractors who wish to learn how to treat the pest.

2. Hire a pest manager to treat the fire ants for you

We recommend you engage a pest manager who has completed the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program training. They were taught the most effective way to treat fire ants, including using bait and liquid insecticide. Pest managers will charge a fee for their service and we recommend you obtain a quote before proceeding. Prices may vary between pest managers.

If you choose to hire a pest manager, they have to report their treatment to the program.

If you cannot treat the fire ants yourself, the program's treatment team will determine the best strategy and will treat your property on your behalf.

Note: Treatment is prioritised based on public need and risk.