BREAKING NEWS ALERT: October 25, 2019 – Little Fire Ant (LFA) has been detected on Kaua’i in the Kilauea area. This is the first new population of LFA found on the island since 1999. LFA are a serious invasive threat to our island and all Kaua’i residents are urged to test their property to check for the presence of these small stinging invaders. Testing is easy and a free kit is available at several locations island-wide, see list below.
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Locations where Free LFA Test Kits are available:
- Any local library (Princeville, Kapaa, Lihue, Koloa, Hanapepe, and Waimea).
- Kauai Humane Society, Puhi
- Lihue Veterinary Hospital, 3113 Oihana St, Lihue
- North Shore Animal Clinic, 4244 Kilauea Rd, Kilauea
- Natural Pet Hawaii, 1596 Haleukana St, Lihue
- Kilauea Paint and Feed, 2488 Kolo Rd, Kilauea
- HDOA office on Pua Loke in Lihue
- KISC office, 7370 Kuamoo Rd, Wailua. Call us at 808-821-1490 or email email@example.com
For two decades, Kauai has done a great job keeping LFA at bay, but these are “hitch-hiker” ants that can arrive at any time. So we need to stay vigilant to watch for them, and we need your help! Finding these invaders early before they become established is critical.
What can you do? Test your yard or property for little fire ants!
Test your yard for LFA, submit the samples, and help stop the ant!
Current Status on Kauaʻi
Little Fire Ants are now established at two locations on Kauaʻi:
- Kalihiwai area: infestation detected in 1999; controlled and currently reduced to near-undetectable levels.
- Kilauea area: new infestation found in October, 2019. Treatment has been initiated.
Any ants suspected to be little fire ants on Kaua’i should be collected and reported.
Reports can be made to Kauaʻi Invasive Species Committee (KISC), 808.821.1490 or Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), 808.643.PEST (7378).
- Background: First identified in 1999, HDOA quickly treated the trees and surrounding areas of the infested site. The population was thought to be eradicated. In 2002, a survey revealed a healthy super-colony spanning several acres from the original infestation site. HDOA and KISC managed the efforts in order to contain the infestation until an effective treatment method was developed. In 2012, Hawaii Ant Lab (HAL), HDOA, and KISC developed an eradication plan with new effective treatment methods implemented by HAL.
- Current Status: Treatment/Monitor. Over the last 3 years, HAL, HDOA, and KISC continued treatment on the infested area and have kept it contained to the same site. Most recent surveys indicate that little fire ants have been brought down to undetectable levels. HDOA and KISC will continue to survey the area and apply treatment as needed.
Island-wide surveys: KISC and HDOA conduct island-wide surveys for little fire ants. Survey sites include gardens, nurseries, transfer stations, schools, and other high risk locations. Surveys are also conducted at various locations on Kauaʻi based on the rapid response to calls about suspected LFA (stinging ants). Regularly surveying for little fire ants will help prevent them from becoming wide-spread on Kauaʻi.