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Hawaii Invasive Species Council Communication

Little Fire Ants (LFA) on Oahu 
Response Update


Wasmannia auropunctata on chopstick with peanut butter

In December 2013, The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) confirmed that Little Fire Ant (LFA) had spread from Hawaii Island to Oahu and Maui.  An inter-agency team led by HDOA was mobilized to respond to this pest emergency.  This update is specific to the Oahu based response.

Please find below the latest update or click here to view/download as PDF.

Contact Randy Bartlett, LFA Response Liaison Officer, with any questions related to this update.
Randy Bartlett: Randal.T.Bartlett@hawaii.gov or (808) 870-6443

*Monthly LFA updates will be sent to the full HISC Listserv, to opt-out of the updates, please respond to this email indicating you do not wish to receive them.

For more information, click on the links below:

October 4 - December 5, 2015
  • Surveys:
    • The Waimanalo and Mililani infestation sites total 12 acres.  Surveys will continue on a regular basis for the next three years.  Treatments, developed by the Hawaii Ant Lab (HAL), were applied in both locations once evidence of LFA was discovered.  The next monitoring surveys at Mililani Mauka and Waimanalo are tentatively scheduled for early June, 2016.
    • In this operational period, the LFA ICS team conducted 30 surveys on priority sites on O`ahu. Surveys continue to be conducted 2-3 days per week, with priorities being nurseries at high risk for inadvertently harboring LFA.
    • The Waimanalo comprehensive monitoring survey was conducted on Tuesday, 12/1/2015:
      • Approximately 1,300 vials were distributed. 7 LFA positive samples were obtained in the zone around the big “Gunpowder Tree” (Trema orientalis). Spot-treatments within a 30’ buffer-zone will begin on 12/9/15; with two additional follow-up treatments every 6 weeks. After the third treatment a delimiting survey will be conducted around the treatment area - including the buffer-zone. 
      • The entire area will continue to be monitored every 6 months for at least the next 3 years – if no further LFA are detected on site.
      • The Gunpowder Tree is on state land leased to a nursery. The HDOA LFA incident commander will check to see what is required to remove the tree.
      • Other area nursery surveyed: The last positive detection was at the end of October, 2015. Monthly treatments will be continued.
    • The Mililani Mauka comprehensive monitoring survey was conducted on Thursday, 12/3/2015:
      • 1,500 vials were distributed. No (0) LFA were detected. 22 properties, green belt, and common areas along roads all sampled negative for LFA. HDOA is currently using 50 vials/property distribution density. The density/number of vials used may decrease moving forward pending determination by HDOA and HAL. The next monitoring survey is scheduled for early June, 2016.
    • Hawaii Ant Lab:
      • The HDOA will fund the 2 person HAL crew on O`ahu for another year in order to continue the monitoring effort.
    • Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC):
      • Huelo:
        • 7th treatment of the area with Tango & Siesta was recently completed.
        • A single residence was only treated with Tango at the request of the tenant.
      • Nahiku
        • The 7th treatment with Tango & Siesta was recently completed around residences where permission obtained.
        • Phase 2: The transect network is almost completed in forested/non-residential areas.
        • Phase 3: A treatment protocol for areas adjacent to drainages/streams has yet to be determined.
        • A recalcitrant landowner/lessee on mauka end of treatment zone has yet to allow treatment on their property.
      • Haiku: No LFA have been detected since January, 2015.
      • Hana: No LFA have been detected since January, 2015.
        • An infested vehicle was moved to Central Maui. The vehicle was treated after being relocated. The next treatment is scheduled for January, 2016.
      • LFA was rediscovered at a Wailea hotel property in September, 2015.
        • The landscape manager has been fully cooperative and following a treatment schedule provided by HAL.
        • A resurvey is scheduled for January, 2016.
  • Mitigation:
    • The Oahu Invasive Species Committee (OISC) will continue vegetation control to keep the Waimanalo site clear for future surveys.
    • The Mililani Mauka site continues to be maintained by the Mililani Town Association in cooperation with the HDOA PPC.
  • Outreach:
    • 65 samples were submitted on O`ahu during SpotTheAnt, StopTheAnt month of September.
    • 540 additional data-points were collected on O`ahu via schools outreach conducted by CGAPS and OISC.
    • On Maui: Mayor Arakawa also proclaimed SpotTheAnt, StopTheAnt month in September.
      • Entries for a Prize Trip to Las Vegas for East Maui residents who submit LFA samples were offered by a private donor.
      • MISC Hana surveys were conducted with 2,100 vials.
      • The Hana Farmers Union United is an interested, participating stakeholder.
      • The LFA Video has been submitted to add close-captioning.
        • The release for TV broadcast is scheduled for Jan. 16, 2016
    • Instagram accounts were established at:
  • Little fact about Little Fire Ants:  Invasive ants will usually readily invade disturbed habitats, such as forest edges or agricultural fields (Ness and Bronstein 2004). In natural environments the little fire ant (Wasmannia auropunctata) efficiently exploits twigs, leaf litter and for its nesting substrate, while in houses it may infest beds, furniture and food (Smith 1965, in Brooks and Nickerson 2000; Armbrecht and Ulloa-Chacón 2003). http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=58
This report uses the best information available at the time of writing and is not an official record of the project. Its purpose is to update partner agencies and concerned individuals about project progress. Questions regarding information in the report can be addressed by calling the incident command post at (808) 973-9528. Mahalo.
DAVID IGE
GOVERNOR OF HAWAII
 
SHAN TSUTSUI
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
 


VOTING MEMBERS
 
SUZANNE CASE
DEPARTMENT OF LAND & NATURAL RESOURCES
 
SCOTT ENRIGHT
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
 
KEITH KAWAOKA, D.Env.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
 
MARIA GALLO, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI‘I
 
LEO ASUNCION
DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & TOURISM, OFFICE OF PLANNING
 
DAVID RODRIGUEZ
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
 Your HISC Support Team:

Joshua Atwood, HISC Program Supervisor: 808.587.4154  or Joshua.P.Atwood@hawaii.gov

Randy Bartlett, HISC Interagency Coordinator: 808.870.6443 or Randal.T.Bartlett@hawaii.gov

John-Carl Watson, HISC Planner: 808.341.3042 or JohnCarl.R.Watson@hawaii.gov

Copyright © 2015 Hawaii Invasive Species Council, All rights reserved.
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