Western Australia is the latest location to raise the alarm about the presence of the troublesome red imported fire ant.

An incursion of red imported re ant (RIFA) has been detected at Fremantle port – the first time this invasive ant has been detected in Western Australia.

Six nests were found in mid- November and were destroyed by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. Efforts are now focused on surveying the port and surrounding areas for any additional nests. Pest managers who spot potential re ant nests should leave the nest undisturbed and contact the department.

RIFA is considered one of the most serious and invasive ant pests due to its painful bite and ability to rapidly colonise areas, making it a serious threat to people, agricultural native flora and fauna, and recreational activities.

Genetic analysis has confirmed that this is a new incursion and is not connected with the large incursion in southeast Queensland. The source of the incursion has not be determined.

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