A NSW Government website

Revised Emergency Order

14 February 2024

Turf from fire ant infested areas in South East Queensland remains a high-risk carrier material. The current Biosecurity Emergency Order has been amended to strengthen treatment requirements for turf suppliers and installers.

  • Turf sourced from the infested area in QLD must now be treated at the point of lay in NSW, as well as on-farm in QLD. Installers must either treat turf immediately following lay, or store in preventative conditions until installation.
  • Turf from the infested area in QLD still needs to be treated, inspected, certified and kept in preventative conditions in Queensland, and the treatment and the preventative conditions must remain effective until it enters NSW.
  • Businesses ‘onselling’ turf products must ensure that treatment requirements and necessary documentation are passed onto consumers.

To move turf into NSW from fire ant infested areas in Queensland it must be accompanied by a Plant Health Certificate that certifies it meets the requirements below:

  • the turf was treated with an APVMA approved chemical for the control of fire ants on a commercial turf farm in accordance with all label directions and permit conditions.
  • the turf was harvested in accordance with all label directions and permit conditions for the APVMA approved chemical used to treat the turf.
  • immediately after harvesting, the turf is placed in preventative conditions, and the turf remains in preventative conditions until it arrives into NSW.


Any person who initiates the movement of a fire ant carrier into NSW from the fire ant infested area must:

  • provide details of the movement and a copy of the approved biosecurity certificate to the Department by completing and submitting the record of movement declaration form before the fire ant carrier is moved and retain details of the movement for 4 years.

Treating turf with an approved chemical

A range of chemical treatments are approved by the APVMA for treating fire ants in turf in areas such as lawns, parks, and sports grounds and these are readily available for use in NSW.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) Permit number PER14317 (expiry 29th February 2024), allows the use of bifenthrin for control of red imported fire ants (RIFA) in commercial turf farms.

The following table is supplementary to clause 24 (a) of the Emergency Order which requires a person in NSW who receives turf that has been present in the fire ant infested area, and lays the turf, to treat the turf with an APVMA approved chemical for the control of fire ants immediately after laying. Unless otherwise stated on label, the following products are available to domestic and household users and can be purchased at retailers:

Product example/sActive and concentrationSituation (always check the label)Guidance



Bifenthrin 2g/kg
  • Lawns
  • Recreational areas, bowling greens, golf courses, parks and sports fields
  • Commercial turf farms
Apply at the higher label rate of 22g/m2

Monarch G Insecticide (APVMA No. 86567)

Anthem Insecticide Granule (APVMA No. 82644)

Fipronil 0.5g/kg
  • Lawn / turf areas in the home garden
  • Recreational turf including bowling greens, golf courses, parks and playing fields
  • Commercial turf farms

Apply at label rate for nesting ants. Some products may require application by an authorised lawn-care specialist in domestic turf situations; always check the label.

WARNING - Always read the label: Users of agricultural chemical products must always read the label before using the product and strictly comply with the directions on the label. Users are not absolved from any compliance with the directions on the label by any statement made or omitted to be made in this publication. See Pesticides for more information.

Disclaimer: The product trade names in this publication are supplied on the understanding that no preference between equivalent products is intended and that the inclusion of a product name does not imply endorsement by the Department over any equivalent product from another manufacturer.

Frequently asked questions

Q: I cannot find the listed products, what else can I use?

If the named product/s above are not available, look for products with the same active ingredient (e.g. bifenthrin) at the same concentration (i.e. 2g/kg). Next, confirm that "fire ant, nesting ant, or stinging ant" are listed on-label as a target pest in the desired turf or lawn situation.

Q: I’m laying turf on an industrial scale - what cost-effective product can I use?

Larger, commercial pack sizes can be purchased at chemical resellers and agricultural supply stores.