Do you live in an infestation area?

Yellow crazy ant infestation zones:

Yellow crazy ant infestation zones have been identified in the Cairns region (see map below). Residents and landowners in these zones are restricted from moving materials outside these zones that could potentially carry yellow crazy ants and facilitate a new infestation.

The current yellow crazy ant infestations in the Cairns region include:

Bentley Park


Mount Peter


Bayview Heights

Russett Park, Kuranda

The orange-shaded shapes in this map symbolise the treatment areas for yellow crazy ants in the Wet Tropics region. The boundary is determined by point location data collected via GPS by the Wet Tropics Management Authority's field teams. The total infestation encompasses a variety of residential, sugarcane and rainforest areas. The green-shaded areas in this map indicate the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. 

 This map is updated as necessary to reflect the known location of yellow crazy ants in the Cairns region. 

YCA movement control earthworks
Photographer: WTMA

Earthworks and development may facilitate YCA spread

Yellow Crazy ant (YCA) vehicle illegal dumping
Photographer: WTMA

Illegal dumping may facilitate YCA spread

General advice for people living in an infestation zone:

Yellow crazy ants mainly rely on human activities to spread, such as the movement of soil, machinery and construction materials, pot plants and outdoor furniture. We rely on the help from members of the public to prevent the ants from spreading. By following the guidelines outlined below, you are helping to stop the spread of yellow crazy ants. 

Are you moving or selling pot plants, outdoor furniture or play equipment?

Pot plants and outdoor furniture such as sun chairs, swing sets, cubby house, spas etc. are ideal habitat for yellow crazy ants. Selling or moving these items from an infestation area can have dramatic consequences and compromise eradication efforts. If you are considering doing any of the above, please give us a call on 07 4241 0525: our staff carry out FREE inspections to ensure that any equipment or materials are free of yellow crazy ants.

How do I dispose of my green waste and other rubbish?

All rubbish and green waste coming from an infestation area should be taken as soon as possible to a council transfer station in Portsmith or Gordonvale. Illegal dumping is a major offence and one of the key facilitators of yellow crazy ant spread. Keep in mind that all illegal dumping will be investigated and offenders will be prosecuted. You can report illegal dumping by calling Cairns Regional Council on 07 4044 3044.

Yellow Crazy Ant (YCA) Illegal Dumping Site
Photographer: WTMA

How can I reduce the yellow crazy ant activity in my backyard?

Yellow crazy ants will nest in almost anything in your yard if given the chance. Reducing nesting availability by keeping your yard free of debris, construction materials and green waste will drastically reduce the abundance of this pest. We treat residential areas for free during treatments rounds three times a yeararound April, July and September, but you can also treat your property through a pest controller between these times.

Yellow Crazy Ant (YCA) Volunteers 
Photographer: Anna Rogers

Report sightings

If you think you have seen a yellow crazy ant outside or near a current infestation area, please call us as soon as possible on 07 4241 0525. We rely on the help from members of the public to prevent yellow crazy ants from spreading. Your contribution in our efforts to eradicate this pest are greatly appreciated.

Property Information Form (PIF) YCAEPPhotographer: WTMA

Have you recently moved into an infestation area?

If you have recently moved into an infestation area, please fill out and send us a property information form. You can also update your current details by filling the same document if your circumstances have changed eg new pets on property. Your details are important for us to organise safe treatments of your property, and will be kept strictly confidential.

Did you receive a notification in your mail box about yellow crazy ants?

Yellow crazy ants are restricted matter, category three, under the Biosecurity Act 2014. Under the Act, YCA must not be distributed or disposed of into the environment, and requires everyone to take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risks associated with these ants. If they have been found on your property or close to your property, you will receive a notification requesting access to your property for survey and treatment purposes. The Wet Tropics Management Authority is managing a ten-year program aimed at eradicating YCA infestations from your area. We are seeking your cooperation to allow us to treat your property with insecticide.  

Yellow Crazy Ant (YCA) Hand Treatment -  NAMAC Taskforce
Photographer: Terrain NRM

Hand treatment of riparian zones and sensitive areas

Yellow Crazy Ant (YCA) Larvae
Photographer: Conrad Hoskin

YCA workers with brood

Yellow Crazy Ant (YCA) Hand Treatment -  NAMAC Taskforce
Photographer: Jurgen Freund

Hand treatment of riparian zones and sensitive areas

What to know when we are treating your property

Our staff treat residential areas in infestation zones for free, three times a year, and we need your consent to access your property. With your consent, you do not need to be home when our staff drop by to treat your property. We will leave a calling card to advise you when we’ve completed treating your yard. Staff do not need to enter the house.

What are you using to treat my property?

We are using AntOff® to eradicate yellow crazy ants, which is a granular bait consisting of fishmeal-based ant attractant  with an insecticide called Fipronil. Fipronil is a broad-spectrum insecticide that is used in agricultural, residential and veterinary situations for controlling domestic and agricultural insect pests such as termites, cockroaches and ants—it is also the same active ingredient that is used on dogs flea and tick collars. Fipronil in our bait is in very low concentration (0.05g per hectare). For more information about AntOff®, please consult the latest MSDS.

Is the treatment dangerous to humans or my pets?

No. The program uses very low doses of Fipronil which is not considered hazardous to people or animals. However, as a precaution, landholders are advised to avoid contact with the bait for 24 hours after treatment. The ants collect the bait within a matter of hours, and take it to their nests before it degrades. Fipronil is not mutagenic (does no cause genetic changes) or teratogenic (does not cause birth defects).

Yellow Crazy Ant (YCA) Baiting with Fipronil pellets
Photographer: Terrain NRM

Buckets of AntOff® pellets are poured into manageable satchels for hand treatment of residential properties, riparian zones and sensitive systems

Yellow Crazy Ant (YCA) Baiting with Fipronil
Photographer: Terrain NRM

Members of the 2017 NAMAC Taskforce conducting hand treatment within a dried creek bed

Do I need to be home during the treatment?

After you have given consent there is no need for you to be home when the eradication team comes to treat your property, so long as all your yard areas are accessible. The pest controller will leave a calling card to advise you when your property was treated.

Do's and don’ts

  • Do keep your dog restrained or inside your house while we are treating.
  • Don’t water or hose your yard 24 hours after treatment, as moisture can diminish bait effectiveness or turn the bait mouldy and unattractive to ants.

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