Cleaning equipment and machinery

Cleaning your machinery thoroughly before moving it off-site helps to prevent the spread of fire ants.

Machinery being used to dig soil

Businesses and individuals located in fire ant biosecurity zones who use equipment and machinery while working with materials that can carry fire ants, must clean it thoroughly before moving it off-site.

This helps to prevent the spread of fire ants.

Cleaning all equipment and machinery including, slashers, excavators, wheelbarrows, and other gear, ensures it is free from soil and other materials that fire ants like to nest in.

Checking machinery components

Before cleaning, check all equipment and machinery closely to ensure no fire ants are present.

If you find fire ants, report them to us by completing the online form or call 13 2523.

The following table outlines different machinery and the components you should check for fire ants.

Machinery/equipment typeComponents to be checked
Track frame
Belly plate
ExcavatorTrack frame
Underside of slew ring
DrottTrack frame
Belly plate
Mould board
Motor scraperOverflow area on rear of scraper
Tractor and slasherTop of slasher
Backhoe attachment
Belly plate
Other attachments
TrucksSoil build-ups in bins
Chassis rails
Bucket, including under the rim
Shovels, rakes and other handheld tools

Tool head — front and back

Cleaning methods and frequency

You must clean down the machinery and equipment before you leave a location within the fire ant biosecurity zones. Your current clean down actions for the control of weed seeds and other material may already be reducing the risk of moving fire ants.

Completely remove soil and other organic materials from your equipment by:

  • physically removing the material (e.g. scraping or blowing)
  • brushing down
  • washing down or steam cleaning
  • blasting with an air compressor.