Working with residents to undertake treatment in targeted areas
Tens-of-thousands of South East Queensland of residents are working with us as we undertake fire ant treatment in targeted areas. You can play your part in the fight against the pest by allowing our teams to treat your property if they visit you.
Fire ants can have devastating consequences on our environment, economy and outdoor way of life.
They also pose a serious threat to humans. At best, their stings can be painful; at worst, they can trigger a toxic, sometimes life-threatening, allergic reaction.
Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, fire ants are a category 1 restricted matter, making the pest a responsibility for all Queenslanders. We are tasked with eradicating fire ants using a staged, rolling treatment strategy starting in the west of the infestation.
You are encouraged to work with us so we can do our job as quickly as possible. You can do this by:
✔ giving our teams access to your property when they visit
✔ following the post-treatment instructions
✔ contacting us if you find a suspect ant nest.
Treatment is free.
What do I need to know?
We complete treatment on all properties in our planned treatment area during the warmer months of the year. This is when fire ants tend to be more active and on the hunt for food.
All properties in the target area must be treated, whether the property has fire ants or not. To ensure this happens, our teams are authorised to access all properties in the treatment area as required. They do not need to access your home or buildings and carry identification. Penalties can apply if you stop our teams from doing their job.
If you have any property access issues, such as dogs, locked gates or crops, please call us on 13 25 23 or complete a ‘property information form’ on our website at fireants.org.au.
Bait treatment is thinly distributed across backyards and garden areas as well as parklands and paddocks in one or more ways:
✔ Utility terrain vehicle
✔ Hand spreader.
Treatment may need to be completed multiple times each year before all ant nests are destroyed.
Any foraging fire ants collect the bait and take it back to the nest. The active ingredient/s are circulated around the colony, leading to the death of the worker ants, larvae and queens.
Fire ant bait
The fire ant bait we use as part of our planned treatment program are all approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and are safe for the environment, humans and pets.
They are made up of small pieces of corn grit soaked in soy bean oil and infused with an active ingredient. The active ingredients are the same as those found in household pest control products such as cockroach baits, mosquito control products, and flea collars for pets.
Type of bait
Typically found in
Slow-acting insect growth regulator (IGR) to make the queen infertile (main bait used)
Contain S-methoprene or pyriproxyfen
Mosquito control / dog and cat flea collars
Nest naturally dies out in 3–4 months
Contains indoxacarb or a combination of hydramethylon and pyriproxyfen
Cockroach baits / dog and cat flea collars
Reduction in nest activity in 1–4 weeks, and nest death soon after
On an average suburban residential block (approximately 500 m2) up to 100 grams of bait will be used in each treatment. As the corn grits consist of 0.5% (slow-acting bait) and 0.045% (fast-acting bait) of active ingredient (IGR), minimal insecticide is distributed.
It is critical that you do not water, mow or disturb your lawn, gardens or paddocks for at least 24 hours, preferably 48 hours, to allow for foraging fire ants to collect the bait.