BUSINESSES in Yarwun, Targinnie and Curtis Island will face restrictions on moving certain materials from Wednesday with the implementation of the Gladstone fire ant restricted area.
The new restricted area covers about 3500 hectares.
There will be strict controls on moving soil, mulch, waste or by-products of quarrying or mining.
Biosecurity Queensland community engagement manager Anthony Wright said the aim was to stop any spread of fire ants by restricting the movement of materials that could lead to them starting a new colony in a new area.
"Fire ants are easily spread through human-assisted movement in materials such as soil, mulch, hay and pot plants," he said.
"Fire ants can even hitch a ride on earthmoving equipment or a truck carrying aggregate."
Mr Wright said commercial operators needed to be aware of their legal obligations if they were in the business of trading, moving or handling restricted materials.
No residential properties are located in the restricted area.