Agricultural Information

RIFA - Red Imported Fire Ants

A threat to the health of humans, animals, livelihoods and local environments. Let’s help to keep Victoria free from one of the world’s worst super pests.

They can fly, join together to form rafts that float on water – especially flood waters, destroy crops and livestock and their venomous, burning sting causes pustules and allergic reactions that can kill a human. There have been more than 80 deaths recorded in America’s South from this pest.

In November 2023, the ants were detected in NSW, sparking concern that they could reach the Murray-Darling river basin and spread out of control. A fire ant queen was detected at a North Melbourne nursery in February last year – an eradication process was applied immediately.

Updated information when bringing in potential host materials into Victoria is available here or by clicking on the picture below.

Materials include soil, hay, mulch, manure, quarry products, landscaping materials such as turf and potted plants. If they are coming from Fire Ant infected areas of Qld or Northern NSW you must have certification.

The Victorian government has committed almost $70million in funding to the National Eradication Program to fight this pest that was first discovered in Brisbane in 2001.

Suspected fire-ant sightings can be reported via phone in Victoria on 1800 084 881.