Planned program activities

The 2022—23 fire ant treatment season has started.

Our 2022–2023 surveillance season is now underway in South East Queensland.

Fire ant surveillance is completed during the cooler months of the year, typically July to August.

What is planned program treatment?

Each year, our teams are tasked with implementing a range of activities that will help us achieve our 10-year Eradication Plan. The timing, frequency and target areas of these activities vary however they always comprise of:

We typically complete treatment in the warmer months and surveillance in winter. This is because fire ants tend to forage for food more in the warmer months.

We will notify you if your property is in our treatment area. This may be in the form of a brochure in your mailbox, letter, email or phone call. It is important that we treat all properties —one untreated nest could be the difference between infestation and fire ant eradication in your area.

Is your property in the treatment area?

If your property is receiving fire ant treatment it is important you tell us if there are potential access issues or hazards we need to be aware of.


Planned activities 2022–23

This year we are prioritising treatment and surveillance in the areas shown on the map below:

Program and Community Treatment Areas Map 2021-2022

The areas shown on the map above will receive the following treatment in the 2022–23. We aim to deliver up to 600,100 hectares (ha) total treatment, including eradication treatment on 385,450 ha and 130,650ha in the containment area this year—comprised of 1–3 treatment rounds in each of the target areas.

Use the key below to learn more about what fire ant activities we are completing in your suburb, when and why.

Eradication treatment areas

  • Covers 4,200 ha in Ipswich and Scenic Rim local government areas with one pocket spanning from Woolshed to Lanfield and the other spanning from Bromelton to Withern.
  • 1 treatment round.
  • Carried out between September 2022 and November 2022.
  • Aims to reduce the number of fire ants detected within these areas to zero, and to prevent the spread and establishment of fire ants beyond the current infestation.

  • Covers 34,750 ha in 9 suburbs spanning across Lockyer Valley, Ipswich and Scenic Rim local government areas.
  • 2 treatment rounds.
  • Carried out between September 2022 and February 2023.
  • Aims to reduce the number of fire ants detected within these areas to zero, and to prevent the spread and establishment of fire ants beyond the current infestation.

  • Covers 346,500 ha in Somerset, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and Ipswich local government areas, spanning from Coominya in the north to Bunjurgen in the south, Crowley Vale in the west and to Peak Crossing in the west.
  • 3 treatment rounds.
  • Carried out between September 2022 and May 2023.
  • Aims to reduce the number of fire ants detected within these areas to zero, and to prevent the spread and establishment of fire ants beyond the current infestation.
Outbreak and clearance treatment sites

  • A contingency of approximately 55,000ha will be allocated to outbreak control, which may be adjusted based on surveillance results and infestation risk.
  • This work will be completed if detections occur outside of planned treatment areas.
  • An outbreak response may include completing broadscale treatment over the area, or if it is a smaller infestation a one-off treatment response will be applied.

  • Targeted sites in Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Ipswich local government areas.
  • Up to 3 rounds of treatment will be applied.
  • Carried out between September 2022 and June 2023.
  • Any new nests are treated as a priority to prevent reinfestation.
Targeted surveillance and other areas

  • Covers 65,000 ha across Somerset, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, Ipswich, Moreton Bay, Logan and Gold Coast local government areas
  • Carried out between June and August 2022
  • Aerial surveillance is conducted using helicopters and the results are checked by our ground teams.
  • Assess the effectiveness of treatment and locate nests in high-risk areas to reduce the risk of reinfestation and spread.

  • Covers 600 ha in targeted areas Lockyer Valley, Somerset, Scenic Rim, Moreton Bay and Gold Coast local government areas.
  • Carried out between June and November 2022, and between March and May 2023
  • Ground surveillance of areas that have been flooded and may be a cause for possible “rafting” or areas that may be related to possible human assisted movement activities.
  • Reduces the risk of spread and ensures South East Queensland’s fire ant population is contained.

Back to map

Eradication treatment and eradication clearance

Planned treatment areas for 2022–23 include greater Ipswich, and parts of Lockyer Valley, Somerset, and Scenic Rim local government areas.

Our focus is ensuring that the progress we make is not reversed and preventing the spread of ants outside of the containment area. Some suburbs which have previously received treatment will be treated again this year. This protects the previous eradication areas from new fire ant queens flying into areas that were treated in the last round.

Ground and aerial treatment activities are planned. Where possible, up to three rounds (during spring, summer and autumn) will be delivered in targeted areas.


Responsive treatment

If you live in an area that is not currently being treated, you may be able to treat fire ants yourself.

If you have seen fire ants outside the fire ant biosecurity zones, please let us know now by reporting online or by calling 13 25 23.

We will prioritise any detections found in our eradication and containment areas, as well as outside our current operational area.

We aim to respond to all public reports within 12 business days. Detections that risk public safety such as those at schools, childcare centres, parks, or sports fields will be prioritised.


Surveillance activities

Containment surveillance aims to reduce the spread of fire ants. We conduct three types of surveillance to determine the presence or absence of fire ants: clearance surveillance, outbreak control and post-treatment validation.

Surveillance activities are also undertaken to ensure treated areas are free from fire ants.

Clearance surveillance activities will be conducted on targeted sites within the eradication and containment areas.

The total area planned for clearance surveillance is up to 3,350 ha by our ground crews and 65,000 ha by helicopters using remote sensing technology.

The total area for outbreak planned surveillance is approximately 3,950 ha.

The estimated area for outbreak responsive surveillance is 5,000 has.

The priorities for our teams will be to check sites with new detections in the containment and eradication areas approx. 6 months after treatment and to check previous detections for up to a 2-year period.

Want to know more about our surveillance activities and our world first technology?