Little Fire Ants are not widely established on Maui and any suspect ants should be collected and reported. Send reports to the Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC) 808.573.6472.
Below is a summary of little fire ant detections on Maui. This is not a comprehensive list of all little fire interceptions. The Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture regularly finds and destroys little fire ants during inspections at the airport and harbor.
- Background: First identified in September of 2014, this site is at least 35 acres, but probably more because crews are still delimiting the full extent. Ants have spread 1.5 miles downhill, carried by a stream. LFA had been present for 5 years or longer. The site is heavily vegetated and most of the area is unmanaged making survey and control efforts extremely challenging.
- Current Status: Active Management. The Hawaiʻi Ant Lab and MISC have treated portions of this site 4 times since beginning work in February 2015. Treatments have focused on areas near buildings or roads to prevent further movement of the ants and in areas away from streams. MISC crews have been busy cutting access trails to expand the treatment area. Treatment operations will continue every 6 weeks. Treatment is not currently possible in all areas due to landowner concerns.
- Background: Reported by a resident and confirmed in January 2015, the Huelo infestation is spread across approximately 4 acres. LFA had been present for 5 years or longer. Vegetation is dense in the area, but much of the infestation is easily accessible.
- Current Status: Active Management. The Hawaiʻi Ant Lab and MISC have treated at this site 4 times and expect to continue treating every 6 weeks for at least 8 visits. Material moved from the Huelo site to a property in Haiku has also been treated. No little fire ants were found during the most recent survey in Haʻikū.
- Background: First reported by the property owner in 2009, the infestation covered approximately 2 acres. After 1 year of monthly treatments by staff from HDOA and HAL, the site was declared eradicated in October of 2010. No little fire ants have been detected during recent surveys but monitoring will continue for several more years.
- Current Status: Monitoring
South Maui Resort:
- Background: Recent landscaping activity prompted MISC crews to conduct a survey for little fire ants. A very small infestation, estimated at 800m2.
- Current Status: Monitoring
- July 2014: An inspector with the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture intercepted 51 hāpuʻu logs bound for a local garden shop that were infested with little fire ants. The material was destroyed and he called the garden shop to request they hold any other hāpuʻu already on site. HDOA treated the infested logs repeatedly and no ants were during the most recent survey.
- December 2013/ January 2014: A Maui resident purchased a hāpuʻu fern at a garden shop. She tested the fern only to find LFA. Thanks to her actions and the traceback efforts of the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture, inspectors discovered LFA moving in hāpuʻu shipped from Hawaiʻi Island to Oʻahu, Lānaʻi, and other places on Maui. The infested hāpuʻu material still at garden shops on Maui was destroyed; 27 hāpuʻu, representing the bulk of the material sold was turned in and destroyed, none of it was infested.