Ipswich residents urged to join fight against fire ants

1 February 2023

The Gold Coast community is being urged to help stop fire ants from spreading any further in South East Queensland by checking their yards and reporting anything suspicious.

National Fire Ant Eradication Program General Manager Graeme Dudgeon said everyone had a role to play in protecting Australia from fire ants.

“Just one missed nest could put an entire community at risk,” Mr Dudgeon said.

“Fire ants are a dangerous, imported pest that if left uncontrolled could cost us billions of dollars in damages annually.

“We’ve been working closely with the City of Gold Coast Council to tackle fire ants on the ground together.

“They’re proactively treating parcels of council land to prevent fire ants from taking hold.”

City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate urged all Gold Coast residents to check their yards and properties for fire ants and report any sightings to the National Fire Ant Eradication Program at fireants.org.au or by calling 13 25 23.

“We have seen relatively low fire ant activity here on the Gold Coast, so let’s work together to keep it that way and protect our outdoor way of life,” Mayor Tate said.

After reporting any fire ants, Gold Coast residents have the option to self-treat using store-bought bait, hiring a pest manager, or waiting for the program to respond.

They can also proactively treat their yards to reduce the chances of fire ants moving in.

Gold Coasters can view the fire ant map to see if fire ants have been found in their neighbourhood and access free online training.

Where and what to look for

Fire ants are copper brown with a darker abdomen and measure just 2–6mm in size.

They are attracted to warm, open spaces and usually found in areas such as lawns, garden beds, near water sources, along roadsides, and in newly developed areas.

Nests can appear as dome-shaped mounds or be flat patches of loose soil with no obvious entry or exit holes.

Fire ants swarm when they attack and victims are usually bitten numerous times leading to painful inflamed sores. In rare cases they can cause a severe allergic reaction in humans and animals.

Fire ants can be reported anytime at fireants.org.au.