Maui News

East Maui Little Fire Ant Status Update Community Meeting, July 9

July 7, 2015, 8:54 AM HST
* Updated July 7, 8:37 AM
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LFA on coconut. Image courtesy County of Maui.

LFA on coconut. Image courtesy County of Maui.

By Maui Now Staff

The Maui Invasive Species Committee and Hawaiʻi Ant Lab will host a presentation on the current status and treatment of little fire ant infestations in East Maui.

The presentation is scheduled to take place at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 9, 2015, in the Hāna Community Center cafeteria.

The little fire ant is a highly invasive ant from South America that was first detected on Hawaiʻi Island in 1999. It has since been found on Kauaʻi (1999), Maui (2009), and Oʻahu (2013).

Officials say the stinging ant threatens agriculture, tourism, human health, and the environmental health of communities across the state.

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The Nāhiku little fire ant infestation was discovered on Sept. 18 2014 by a crew from the Maui Invasive Species Committee. At over 20 acres, the Maui Invasive Species Committee notes that it is the largest infestation of little fire ants detected outside of Hawaiʻi Island. Control efforts began in January 2015.

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Authorities say the Huelo little fire ant infestation was confirmed in January of 2015 after a resident reported being stung while picking fruit. That infestation is approximately 4 acres and has been treated regularly since January.

Kits will be available for residents to collect samples of ants from their homes, but if residents are concerned they may have little fire ants, they can bring samples in for identification.

***Collection guidelines can be found online.

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