Pest ants

The most dangerous ant in the Brisbane area is the fire ant. The yellow crazy ant is another invasive species that can hurt you if they are disturbed.

Other common garden ants that may cause problems around the home include green head ants, meat ants, sugar ants and funnel ants.

Fire ants

The Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) (Solenopsis invicta) is a serious pest that has been detected in Queensland. Fire ants are copper brown in colour with a darker abdomen, and look like ordinary house or garden ants.

They have a variety of sizes, from two to six millimetres in length. Their nests appear as loose soil or mounds (various sizes) with no visible entry or exit holes. This ant can be distinguished by its aggressive behaviour when their nest is disturbed. Bites can be severe.

Report them

If you believe there are fire ants at your property, phone the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) on 13 25 23. DAF will inspect your property and carry out a treatment of the nest. There is no charge for the inspection or treatment.

Yellow crazy ants

Yellow crazy ants have the potential to form 'super-colonies' with multiple queens, and a very high density of individual, aggressive ants.

Yellow crazy ants (Anoplolepis gracilipes) are internationally considered environmental pests, and are listed in the top 100 worst invasive species in the world by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The yellow crazy ant is listed as an Invasive Biosecurity Matter - Invasive Animals in the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Yellow crazy ants don't sting, however they may spray formic acid, especially when disturbed. In large amounts, this acid may burn or irritate the skin and eyes of animals and humans. If you are sprayed with this acid, wash the affected area with water. If the acid makes contact with the eyes, wash them with cool, clean water. Seek immediate medical advice if symptoms persist or problems arise.

Yellow crazy ants are small, about five millimetres long and are yellowish tan in colour with a slender body and long antennae. They are named after their erratic walking style and frantic movements especially when disturbed.

They prefer to nest in areas with access to water or moisture such as along creek banks, under rocks, log debris, leaf litter and under covers of service access holes, such as water meters, fire hydrants and stormwater drains.

Nests may have entrances with wide, flat soil mounds above them, or they may be holes along fence lines or walls of buildings that are difficult to notice.

Yellow crazy ant eradication trial - The Gap

In November 2022, Brisbane City Council commenced an eradication trial for yellow crazy ants in The Gap. As part of the program, Council will treat both public and private land at no cost to landholders. This program is being delivered with support provided by the Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries through the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative.


Areas included in the treatment zone

The first treatment area at The Gap is bounded by Waterworks Road in the south. It includes all properties on the northern side of Waterworks Road within the vicinity of:

  • Arkana Street
  • Dajarra Street
  • Edina Street
  • Glenella Street
  • Kadina Street
  • Karara Street
  • Kullaroo Street
  • Lachinvar Lane
  • Marral Street
  • Nigel Street
  • Pammay Street
  • Pangela Street
  • Quirk Street
  • Romea Street.

In September 2023, Council expanded the eradication trial for yellow crazy ants in The Gap. The second treatment area at The Gap is bounded by Waterworks Road to the north. It includes properties to the southern side of Waterworks Road in the vicinity of:

  • Alton Tce – part of
  • Anembo St
  • Blucher Ave
  • Dandaloo St
  • Goldie St
  • Glen Affric St
  • Gymea St
  • Illowra St – Part of
  • Jevons St
  • Kernel St
  • Lomatta St
  • Maker St
  • Marana St
  • Nargong St
  • Pambula St
  • Paten Rd – part of
  • Payne Rd – part of
  • Riaweena St
  • Tandara St
  • Waterworks Rd – part of
  • Whitehead Rd – part of

More information

Council has partnered with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to develop this strategy for eradicating yellow crazy ants using an Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) approved treatment. This eradication trial is supported by the Queensland Government, with funding through the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative.

The program will consist of three separate treatments occurring every three months.

Following the final treatment, Council will conduct a survey to ensure the program has successfully eradicated yellow crazy ants from the area. Council may need to conduct further treatments if it detects the presence of yellow crazy ants during this survey.

Residents with properties within the treatment area will receive further details by mail. Residents are requested to cooperate and allow access to their properties for Council's pest technicians  so the program can eradicate this threatening species from the area.

 Council's yellow crazy ants prevention and control program is outlined in our Biosecurity Plan for Brisbane.

Report them

Under theBiosecurity Act 2014  as outlined in the Biosecurity Plan for Brisbane, Council is working to eradicate this species from the Brisbane area. If you suspect an infestation you should report it immediately to Council on 07 3403 8888, with details such as nest location, approximate number of ants sighted and your name and phone number. 

Common garden ants

Find information about some common ants you would find across the Brisbane area and how you can identify and treat them. For more information or to report an invasive ant sighting, phone Council on 07 3403 8888.

Common ants seen in Brisbane
TypeDescriptionTreatmentIdentifying features

Green head ant (green ant)

The green head ant is commonly called the green ant. These ants may be found in Brisbane's parks and yards. 

To treat a green ant nest in your yard, flood the nest with a suitable pesticide. More than one treatment may be required. Always use pesticides strictly in accordance with the directions on the label.

Meat ant

A meat ant is about the same size as a green head ant but is red in colour. Meat ants normally live in large colonies. If their nest is disturbed, meat ants will swarm everywhere.

Flood the nest with a suitable pesticide. Always use pesticides strictly in accordance with the directions on the label.

Sugar ant

A sugar ant is a very large gold and black ant, characterised by large colonies and nests with large entry holes. These ants are mainly active at night.

Flood the nest with a suitable pesticide. Always use pesticides strictly in accordance with the directions on the label.

Funnel ant

The funnel ant is distinguished by the mounds it makes to clear out its nest after rain. Funnel ants can often affect whole streets or suburbs.

Treat each nest entry with one litre of mixed pesticide. This ant can be quite hard to eradicate and will require more than one treatment. Always use pesticides strictly in accordance with the directions on the label.

Brisbane City Council acknowledges the assistance of Jeff Wright from the Queensland Museum for supplying photographic images of common garden ants.

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