Cleaning machinery after working with fire ant carriers

Businesses that use machinery, slashers and other equipment in fire ant biosecurity zones must clean down all their equipment before it is moved off-site, to prevent the spread of fire ants.

Cleaning ensures your equipment is free from fire ant carriers such as soil and other materials that may spread fire ants.

Checking machinery components

Before cleaning, check all machinery, slashers and other equipment closely to ensure they are not infested. If you think you have found fire ants, report it to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 and take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise the spread of fire ants.

The following table outlines different machinery and the types of components you should check for fire ants.

Machinery, slasher and equipment Components to be checked


  • Rippers
  • Blade
  • Track frame
  • Belly plate


  • Track frame
  • Underside of slew ring
  • Buckets


  • Track frame
  • Rippers
  • Belly plate


  • Rippers
  • Mould board

Motor scraper

  • Overflow area on rear of scraper

Tractor and slasher

  • Top of slasher
  • Skids


  • Buckets
  • Backhoe attachment


  • Buckets
  • Belly plate
  • Other attachments


  • Soil build-ups in bins
  • Chassis rails

Cleaning methods and frequency

You must clean down machinery, slashers and other equipment before you leave site within a fire ant biosecurity zone. Your current clean down actions for the control of weed seeds and other material may already be reducing the risk of moving fire ants.

Completely remove soil and other fire ant carriers from your equipment by:

  • physically removing the material (e.g. scraping or blowing)
  • brushing down
  • washing down or steam cleaning
  • air blasting with an air compressor.

Also consider...