Red imported fire ant

Page last updated: Thursday, 22 July 2021 - 3:19pm

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development detected Red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) at two adjoining tenanted properties at Fremantle Ports in November 2019. An eradication program is currently underway.

If RIFA became established in WA, it could severely damage the local environment, economy and Australia's outdoor lifestyle. RIFA inflict a painful, fiery sting, which in rare cases can cause an acute allergic reaction.

Treatment and surveillance activities are underway, and a Quarantine Area has been established. 

REMEMBER: Quarantine Area requirements remain in place until 3 December 2021.

Round five surveillance is underway

Our eradication program continues and we are conducting the next round of surveillance and baiting in Fremantle.

Close to 500 residential properties have been randomly selected to receive an inspection, at no cost to owners/occupiers. This will involve a visual inspection in areas that could be harbouring ants or ant nests, and collection of any ants of interest. Surveillance will also be carried out in the Fremantle port area, as well as baiting in the 500m radius from the original detection site.

No red imported fire ants have been detected in the first four residential surveillance rounds. Six rounds of surveillance with no positive detections will allow the department to declare WA free of red imported fire ants.

Our inspectors will survey around the Fremantle Port area and will door-knock in the residential area during April - June. If you receive a contact card, we would like to arrange a suitable time to access your garden and outdoor areas. To arrange an inspection:

COVID-19 precautions

We are aware of the potential risks of COVID-19 and have in place a number of specific procedures to ensure your safety and the safety of our inspectors.

We only require access to your garden and outdoor areas and will not enter your home or other buildings on your property. We assure you we will strictly adhere to the department’s COVID-19 guidelines when visiting your property. These guidelines include contactless visits, social distancing and hygiene protocols. Alternatively, feel free to discuss when you book your inspection.

Your cooperation is really important and greatly appreciated.

Reporting options

Report your observations using the MyPestGuide Reporter app or online at

Report any unfamiliar ants immediately – even if unsure. Do not touch ants or disturb the nest as they may aggressively defend it. Do not send in live samples. Take a photo if safe to do so.

Contact the department via: