An Echuca man has discovered what he thought was a shocking invader hiding in his home's water meter.
Although experts proved him wrong, he was a really bright spark for sounding the alarm.
The man had discovered of a colony of small ants when he lifted the flap on his water meter.
Given their small size, colour and unfamiliar look, he feared nasty electric ants which are so worrying Queensland had travelled south.
There was relief all around when his colony of exotic-looking tiny red ants proved to be harmless natives.
When the homeowner found the unusual ants, he immediately contacted Agriculture Victoria and sent them a series of pictures of what he had discovered.
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Agriculture Victoria leading biosecurity officer Emily Hill said the state's entomologists weren't able to categorically determine their identity from the photographs so they visited the border town.
"Thankfully, in this instance, the ants sampled were found to be a native species that were morphologically similar to electric ants," Ms Hill said.
"Electric ants are highly aggressive and can rapidly spread through a variety of landscapes, displacing native species and causing injury to livestock, wildlife, pets and people with painful bites," she said.
Ms Hill said these exotic ant species - which are present in Queensland and under an eradication program there - could come into Victoria in a variety of ways and quickly spread through human activity with the movement of plants, plant products, garden waste or machinery.
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