Don’t spread fire ants

4 April 2022

They may be small but don’t be mistaken, fire ants can have devastating consequences on your worksite or on your land.

That’s the warning to businesses working with soil, hay, mulch, manure, quarry products, turf and potted plants.

National Fire Ant Eradication Program General Manager Graeme Dudgeon said moving fire ants, accidentally or otherwise, puts our environment, economy, health and outdoor way of life at risk.

“We believe that a majority of fire ant spread is the result of people inadvertently moving fire ants in hay, soil and other organic material,” Mr Dudgeon said.

“Illegally moving just one solitary fire ant queen to a new area could lead to the infestation of an entire community.

“Such actions could also jeopardise the good work done we’ve done destroying fire ant populations in the western parts of South East Queensland.

A new advertising campaign by the National Program focuses on encouraging businesses to play their part in the fight against fire ants.

“If you live in South East Queensland and work with these materials, not being aware of the rules is not an excuse,” Mr Dudgeon said.

“While most industry operators take their legislative requirements seriously, others are unfamiliar with the rules around moving materials that can carry fire ants, and that penalties apply,” Mr Dudgeon said.

“Before moving or receiving organic materials you must check the fire ant biosecurity zones and use fire ant-safe practices to mitigate the risk of spreading the pest.

“Following our steps is all that’s required to protect you, your family, your business and your livelihood from fire ants.

“We need everyone working with materials that can carry fire ants to do the right thing.

“Working together is key to eradicating fire ants from South East Queensland, and Australia for good.”

For more information about fire ant biosecurity zones and movement requirements, please visit