Health impacts

People and animals are at risk where fire ants are found.

baby with fire ant stings to its face and lips

Fire ants can cause injury or, in extreme situations, death to both humans, pets and animals in the areas they infest.

Human health

Fire ants are very aggressive when their nests are disturbed. They usually move quickly, allowing large numbers to move onto humans before they are detected.

Stings from fire ants can cause a painful, burning, itching sensation, lasting up to 1 hour. Multiple stings give a sensation the body is on fire.

Small pustules may form at sting sites several hours after stinging and may become itchy and infected.

In rare cases, fire ant stings can lead to a severe and sometimes fatal allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Animal health

Just like with humans, fire ants pose a risk to the health of your pets and livestock.

Many animals that spend time outdoors are at risk of fire ant stings, particularly if they like to dig. Fire ants tend to swarm the faces of pets and animals as they often investigate nests nose-first.

As many pets are fed outside and fire ants love food rich in protein, the pest is also often found in and around pet bowls.

It is important to report any suspect nests you find.