What to look for when looking for fire ants

Immature fire ant nest

Fire ant nests can appear as dome-shaped mounds or be flat and look like a small patch of disturbed soil.

All nests have no obvious entry or exit holes.

The shape and size of the nest depends on soil type and ant colony size.

Mature fire ant nest

The ants enter and leave the mound via underground tunnels which radiate outwards from the nest. These tunnels can be up to 30m long.

Internally, nests consist of many interconnecting galleries, which have a honeycomb appearance.

If a nest is disturbed, the workers may very quickly move the queen and the brood (eggs, larvae and pupae) to a new location.

Fire ant nests are often found in open areas such as lawns and pastures and along roadsides and unused cropland. They can also be found next to or under other objects on the ground, such as timber, logs, rocks, pavers or bricks.

What fire ant nests look like

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

Where to look for fire ant nests

Residential properties

Top 5 places to check for fire ants

  • Lawns
  • Footpaths, driveways and fence lines
  • Garden beds
  • Near water sources
  • Utility pits, including water and gas meters.

Rural properties

Top 5 places to check for fire ant nests

  • Dams and irrigation lines
  • Edges of cultivated land
  • Cropland
  • Fence lines
  • Piles of organic matter.