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New little fire ant infestation found on Kauaʻi

Little Fire Ant Kauai DLNR 101322.png
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A new infestation of little fire ants covering an estimated area of 13 to 35 acres was found at Wailua River State Park on Kauaʻi.

“The location of this LFA population is concerning because of its proximity to the Wailua River. LFA can 'raft' along waterways allowing them to spread far greater distances,” Curt Cottrell, administrator of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks, said in a statement

The infestation was confirmed by a sample submitted by a concerned citizen.

The Kauaʻi Invasive Species Committee asks Kauaʻi residents to collect ants on their properties. They can do this by smearing peanut butter on several chopsticks and leaving them out for an hour.

The sticks can then be collected and sealed in a zip-top bag and frozen for 24 hours to kill any ants. The bag can then be mailed or dropped off at the committee’s office.

Through the collective efforts of the Hawaiʻi Agriculture Department, KISC and the Hawaiʻi Ant Lab, previous attempts to contain little fire ants on Kauaʻi have been largely successful.

Prior to this year, little fire ants were established at three locations on the island.

  • 11 acres in Kalihiwai (detected in 1999)
  • 2.5 acres in Kilauea (2019)
  • 12 acres in Moloaʻa (2020)

More information can be found at stoptheant.org.

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