A NSW Government website

poking fire ant nest with stick

Collect and photograph some dead ants

Be aware that fire ants will attack and sting if disturbed. To safely collect a sample or take photos, follow these instructions.

You will need latex gloves, a can of household insect spray, a long stick and some tissues.

  • put the latex gloves on, stand well back and gently prod the edge of the nest with the stick
  • if they are fire ants, they will run up the stick towards you
  • quickly spray the ants on the stick with the insect spray and move away from the nest
  • gently wipe the sprayed ants onto a tissue
  • make sure they are dead - spray again if they are still moving
  • photograph the dead ants on the tissue and submit the photos with the online form or email them to invasive.species@dpi.nsw.gov.au
  • put the dead ants and tissue into a small container or plastic bag, in case NSW DPI wants to check them
  • don't spray the rest of the nest with insect spray - this won't kill the whole nest and will cause the ants to move and spread.

Hundreds of ants will come out of a nest if disturbed. This video has no audio.

This video has no audio.

Seen them? Contact us.

Use the online form for any suspicious sightings or call 1800 680 244.