On February 25th there will be a community meeting about little fire ants for Haiku and Huelo residents at 5:30 pm in the Haiku Community Center. The meeting is sponsored by the Hawaii Ant Lab, Hawaii Department of Agriculture, County of Maui, and Maui Invasive Species Committee. Agency representatives will provide information about the status of little fire ants in East Maui, including the recent detection of little fire ants in Huelo and Haiku on January 16th of this year.
Given the estimated size of the Huelo infestation, it has likely been there for several years. The little fire ants found in Haiku were spread from Huelo and officials are confident of eradication in that instance. Initial control on both the Huelo and Haiku populations has begun. There will be a brief presentation of the status of little fire ants on Maui’s north shore and plans for control, followed by an opportunity for questions. The public is invited to bring samples of ants if they are concerned they have little fire ants on their property. Instructions for sampling can be found at www.lfa-hawaii.org.
The most recent Huelo/Haiku discovery of LFA follows on a rash of LFA discoveries on Maui in the past year. This report marks the ninth little fire ant discovery on Maui since 2009. Following the December 23, 2013 detection of infested hapuu from Hawaii Island, small populations of little fire ants were found at several retail stores and South Maui locations. In September of last year, Maui’s largest wildland infestation was discovered in a forested area near Nahiku in East Maui. All locations are currently being treated by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture or the Hawaii Ant Lab.
Maui residents are encouraged to report any unusual, small orange ants to the Maui Invasive Species Committee at 573-6472. For more information visit www.lfa-hawaii.org.