What distinguishes fire ants from other ant species?

Fire ants can be identified by a few distinguishing features.

They are:

  • copper brown in colour with a darker abdomen
  • quite small at 2 – 6 mm
  • found in a variety of sizes within the one nest.
Checking under pot plants for fire ants

When checking suspicious ant nests gently poke the nest with a long stick and observe the ants that come out.

Be careful not to get too close, as fire ants are aggressive. They swarm when disturbed and have a painful sting.

It is important to report any suspect ants or nests you find

For help with identifying fire ants, see our fire ant identification video and fire ant photo gallery below. You can also view some ant species that are often mistaken for fire ants.

Fire ant identification

Photo gallery