23 January 2024.

A farmer has captured video of fire ants forming floating rafts to survive flood waters in south-east Queensland. The footage was sent to Reece Pianta of the Invasive Species Council, who says the red imported fire ants (RIFA) only make rafts when they reach a certain density.

AgForce collaborates closely with the Invasive Species Council as part of the Fire Ant Coalition (an alliance of environment, agriculture, industry and land management groups). AgForce Biosecurity Policy Officer Annie Ruttledge says "The concern we have is that the recent flooding in southeast Queensland increases the risk of further spread into farmland. We urge members to be vigilant in inspecting their property, especially along waterways and recently flooded areas."

For suspected sightings in Queensland, contact Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or complete the online fire ant notification form.

Elsewhere in Australia phone the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline: 1800 084 881.

Fire ant identification video.

More informative videos, including treatment options and managing baled materials, can be found here.