Red imported fire ant

Page last updated: Monday, 30 May 2022 - 12:22pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

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 in the final stages of completion.

If red imported fire ant (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.

Eradication activities

The department's six rounds of RIFA surveillance and treatment have been successfully completed with no further detections of this invasive pest. The program is now in the final stages of proving WA is free from RIFA.

Fremantle residents, local government, businesses and Fremantle Ports and their tenants have been incredibly supportive and cooperative with surveillance, baiting and quarantine activities. This has been crucial to the department’s successful response to this invasive ant incursion, and the department needs this support to continue.

As of 1 December 2021, the Quarantine Area has been lifted.

Quarantine Area

Quarantine Area Notice (QAN) for parts of Fremantle first came into effect on 5 December 2019, and was extended on 29 May 2020, 1 December 2020 and 1 June 2021. The Quarantine Area has now been lifted.