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Fire Ants

Fire ant
Fire ant shown with scale

Fire ants pose a serious threat to humans, animals and the environment. If you think you have fire ants on your property or you have located them elsewhere you should IMMEDIATELY contact the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DELWP) on 136 186.

First detected in the Brisbane area in February 2001, these South American ants pose a serious social, economic and environmental threat. Fire ants have been declared a notifiable pest under the Plant Protection Act 1989.

If you suspect fire ants, DO NOT TOUCH them or their nest, or try to treat the nest yourself. If stung, seek immediate medical attention. Early detection is essential in controlling the spread of fire ants.

Fire ants are described as:

  • Small 2-6 mm long.
  • Ranging in size with a coppery brown head and body. The abdomen is darker.
  • Aggressive, particularly near the nest and inflict a painful sting.

Their nests:

  • Usually contain a range of ant sizes.
  • Have no obvious entry or exit holes.
  • Come in various shapes and sizes.
  • Often appear as dome-shaped mounds, up to 40 cm high.

Download an Ant Comparison Chart, showing some of the different types of ants compared to fire ants.

Visit the Agriculture Victoria website for more information about fire ants.

Also visit the Pests and Disease Image Library, which contains a comprehensive and useful collection of ant images as well as other pests.

Fire Ant image above courtesy of the Department of Primary Industries, Queensland.
For full copyright information, see Ant Comparison Chart (above).

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