WARNING: Fire ant nests detected outside biosecurity zone

Red imported fire ants have been detected in Lowood in the Brisbane Valley.

Biosecurity Queensland's National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program Director, Geoff Kent said the detection was discovered and confirmed to be fire ants by officers through routine surveillance.

"There were 10 nests found on vacant land in Lowood, which is outside of the current fire ant biosecurity zone," Mr Kent said.

"Program officers have destroyed the nests by direct nest injection using insecticide and also bait treated the immediate area.

"Officers will be commencing surveillance out to 1 km from the infestation including both residential properties and rural lands.

"Tracing activities and genetic testing will be undertaken to determine the possible source of the detection."

Mr Kent urged residents and business operators in the Lowood and surrounding suburbs to check their properties and work sites, and report suspect ants and nests to Biosecurity Queensland.

"We also need the local community to help by being our eyes on the ground, as you know your property best. Check your yard and gardens and tell us if you find ants you think could be fire ants," he said.

Fire ants vary in size, between 2-6 millimetres, are coppery-brown with a dark abdomen, inflict a painful sting and are aggressive.

Fire ant nests are mounds of loose soil with no entry or exit holes.

Fire ants have the potential to devastate our state's economy, environment and our way of life.

For more information on fire ants or to report suspect fire ants visit daf.qld.gov.au/fireants or call 13 25 23.