Yellow crazy ant

What is it?

The yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes) is a highly invasive exotic pest. Yellow crazy ants can build super colonies and devastate local flora and fauna and impact on agricultural production and the horticultural industry. Although not a direct threat to humans, YCA’s are listed as prohibited matter under the Biosecurity Act 2015 as they are a serious environmental pest which pose a risk to our economy, environment and communities.

How is it characterised?

When they achieve great enough numbers, YCA are known to kill small animals. Although they do not sting, they squirt formic acid into the eyes of the prey which blinds the animal and they starve. The ants also tend to feed on sucking insects which impact vegetation. This can change the composition of the vegetation in native forests.

How is it spread?

Yellow crazy ant can hitchhike in organic materials, or on people’s belongings, resulting in the infestation spreading. This is why it is critical for people to be aware and check for yellow crazy ant before moving equipment and materials. To help us prevent the spread of yellow crazy ant, NSW DPI has put movement restrictions in place, preventing the carrying of vegetative matter and soil within a 5km radius of the Lismore CBD.  For more information, please refer to the General Biosecurity Direction (GBD).

Where is it found?

NSW DPI is currently responding to reports of yellow crazy ant found in the Lismore region in May 2018. Ongoing surveillance has identified several smaller infestations in outlying areas which are currently being treated.

What is the potential cost to Australia?

Unchecked, YCA poses a serious economic and environmental threat, so it is important that we prevent it taking hold in NSW.

How is it treated?

NSW DPI is undertaking a targeted luring and baiting program to eradicate the ants, with follow up treatments to ensure all ants have been removed. For more information, please visit yellow crazy ant.

How do I report it?

Any suspicious sightings of YCA should be reported immediately by visiting the online form or calling the Biosecurity Hotline 1800 680 244.

More information

For more information, visit yellow crazy ant.