Red imported fire ants (RIFA) have been detected west of Brisbane after ten nests were found on vacant land in Lowood.
This is the first time fire ants have been found in the Somerset region six kilometres outside the current fire ant biosecurity zone.
Biosecurity Queensland’s National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program has confirmed that the discovery was made on a routine surveillance.
The program officers have killed the nests with insecticide by direct injection and bait treated the area. Surveillance is now being undertaken within a one-kilometre radius of the nests to determine the cause of the outbreak.
Fire ants can be anywhere between two to six millimetres and are coppery-brown with a dark abdomen. Fire ant nests are moulds of loose soil with no entry or exit holes.
Local residents and businesses in Lowood and surrounds are encouraged to check their properties for possible nests and report them to Biosecurity Queensland immediately.
NGIQ is actively working with Biosecurity Queensland to ensure production nursery interests are properly represented and considered in future fire ant eradication activities and efforts.
For more information on fire ants or to report suspect fire ants visit www.daf.qld.gov.au/fireants or call 13 25 23.