Yellow Crazy Ants

The Townsville Biosecurity Plan outlines Council's strategies for preventing the introduction, eradicating and containing restricted pest plants and animals in Townsville.

Yellow Crazy Ants are a critical biosecurity priority in Townsville LGA, with five known infestations. Contact Council to report any ants suspected to be Yellow Crazy Ants. Townsville City Council does not deal with any other ant or general pest control.

Fire Ants and Electric Ants are not known to occur in Townsville. If you suspect sightings of tramp ants other than Yellow Crazy Ants, please report sightings to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

About Yellow Crazy Ants

Yellow Crazy Ants are listed as one of the world's 100 worst invasive alien species, and one of the world’s worst tramp ants. Their true origin is unknown due to their rapid colonisation of countries around the world, however experts suspect Yellow Crazy Ants originate from Africa or south-east Asia.

Impacts: Yellow Crazy Ants form super colonies with dense populations. The sheer number of ants overwhelm both invertebrates and vertebrates, causing a loss of biodiversity. This then causes impacts to plant populations, disrupting natural processes in environments such as pollination, seed dispersal and decomposition of organic matter.

People’s lifestyles are impacted, and pets can receive acid burns from the formic acid sprayed by Yellow Crazy Ants. Impacts include damage to household electrical appliances and wiring. Agriculture and horticulture industries are also impacted.


  • Yellow to brownish ant with long and slender body (approximately 5mm long)
  • Abdomen is dark brown, sometimes striped
  • Legs and antennae are very long
  • Walking style is erratic.

Preventing the Spread

Human-assisted spread is far larger than natural spread (raft downstream, natural expansion). Yellow Crazy Ants are often unknowingly transported, commonly in freight pallets and packaging, timber products and landscaping supplies.

Help prevent the spread of Yellow Crazy Ants:

  • Do not sell produce or items that contain Yellow Crazy Ants
  • Take a good photo and report ants suspected to be YCAs to Council
  • When ordering agricultural or horticultural products, ask suppliers what invasive biosecurity matter is possible/likely to be in their products before buying, and decide for yourself whether you can deal with the biosecurity risk
  • Companies should develop a pest management plan relevant to biosecurity risks associated with their business
  • Treat areas where the risk of spread is heightened (e.g. stored pallets, crushing plants, etc).

Locations in Townsville

  • Alligator Creek
  • Black River
  • Douglas
  • Mt St John
  • Nome
  • Stuart

Useful Links

Department of Agriculture & Fisheries


Have you discovered Yellow Crazy Ants?

Take a good photo of the ants and send to Council through Snap Send Solve or by email. We will follow up on your sighting.