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Materials must be covered to prevent flying fire ant queens from settling in them. Materials must be stored either off the ground or on a fire ant resistant surface with a chemically treated perimeter to prevent fire ant queens from crawling into the material.

Appropriate cover

Examples of appropriate cover include:

  • tarpaulins
  • sheds with overhead roofing (for hay including mulch hay sheds must also have side walls or covered sides)
  • overhead shade cloth (for hay including mulch hay, the materials must be completely covered)
  • plastic stretch wrapping (for silage hay).

Appropriate off-ground storage

Materials can be stored off the ground at a height that prevents ‘bridges’ created by falling materials. Examples of off-ground storage include:

  • trailers
  • benches.

Pallets are not high enough to be considered off the ground. Materials can fall through the gaps and form a bridge allowing fire ants to crawl in.

If materials are stored off the ground, chemical surface or perimeter treatments are not required.

Appropriate on-ground storage

On-ground storage requires both a fire ant resistant surface and a chemically treated perimeter.

Fire ant resistant surfaces

Examples of fire ant resistant surfaces include:

  • concrete or bitumen with no cracks
  • a barrier that fire ants cannot penetrate such as 200-micron unperforated continuous plastic sheeting
  • compacted ground (other than sand) that has been treated with an appropriate chemical product before materials are stored. If storing hay intended for animal feed, a barrier such as a rubber mat or plastic sheet should be used to avoid contaminating the hay with the chemical surface treatment.

Chemical perimeter and surface treatment

A chemically treated perimeter means a boundary of 30 cm in width that has received a chemical treatment. The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) Permit number PER14317 (expiry 29th February 2024) allows the use of bifenthrin for the protection of storage areas (including chemical perimeters and surface treatments).

WARNING – ALWAYS READ THE LABEL Users of agricultural or veterinary chemical products must strictly comply with the directions on the label and the conditions of any permit. See Pesticides for more information.

Take care not to degrade a chemical perimeter or surface treatment through movements of traffic or equipment.

Seen them? Contact us.

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