If you received the pest alert post card, LFA have been detected in your neighborhood. We are asking that everyone collect and submit any ants you have on your property or in your home for identification. LFA are tiny and can go undetected for a long time before you start to feel their sting. On their own, they spread very slowly as the ant population grows, but they can easily be spread from yard to yard when we move potted plants, yard materials, equipment…just about anything!
The eradication of these isolated population can only be successful if we can find them early and work together to get rid of them. To do this, we need to know how far these ants have spread in your neighborhood. Now more than ever, we need your help in finding any additional infestations in your areas.
VIDEO ON HOW TO COLLECT AND SUBMIT ANTS FOR IDENTIFICATION
Let us know you surveyed for ants. We’re all doing our part to stay home during the pandemic. Some ants we can rule out as LFA with just a photo. We’ll let you know if it’s a suspect LFA and should be identified by species. Simply fill out this shorty survey and tell us (or submit a photo) of what you find: MY ANT SURVEY
There have been several little fire ant (LFA) detections on Oahu in the last year. Residents have reported getting bitten or stung by something in their yard. Suspecting it could be LFA, they collected and submitted their ants for identification. Luckily, most of these have turned out to be small populations and with the help of area residents, we have either already begun treatment for eradication, or they are in the planning phase to start treatment.
Collecting and submitting your ants is fast and easy…just 3 steps:
- LFA love cheap peanut butter! Mayonnaise or lunch meat is also a good substitute if you have a peanut allergy. Place a THIN smear of peanut butter or mayo on the end of a coffee stirrer, popsicle stick or chopstick. Place them in shady areas in your yard, potted plants, around pet food bowls, even indoors.
- Collect the sticks after 30-60 minutes (no longer than an hour). Any sticks with ants, put into a ziptop bag and freeze overnight.
- When ready to send your ants, simply mail them to be identified. Include your contact info with your ziptop bag of ants from the freezer. Prepare an envelope addressed to:
- Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture- Attn: HAL
- 1428 S. King St.
- Honolulu, HI 96814
Once received and identified, you will be contacted informing you whether or not your ants are LFA. If they are, the Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture and Hawaii Ant Lab will discuss with you the next steps toward eradicating these harmful ants. We appreciate your help and your patience. Normally, we would try to visit all of the houses in affected neighborhoods in person. We hope that everyone stays safe and that we will soon be able to resume our work in communities, protecting our islands from harmful invasive species.
If you have questions, you can contact the Oahu Invasive Species Committee: 808-286-4616 or email: [email protected]