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) 341-3042
*Biweekly 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:
April 7- 21, 2014 Update
As the first regular update, information will be included from the initiation of response in December 2013 as well as the most current updates. For additional information on the full response please visit the HDOA LFA Response page.
- Following the discovery of LFA on Hapuu on Maui on December 23, 2013, trace back of material led HDOA entomologists to several nurseries and garden shops on Oahu, where LFA was also discovered. HDOA contained and destroyed all infested material located. Currently all nurseries where infested material was identified have been treated and follow-up surveys continue to be negative.
- On April 3 and 10, 2014, HDOA led an interagency survey effort to delimit an infestation discovered in Waimanolo on March 27, 2014. Over 1,000 samples were taken from more than 50 acres near Kumuhau Street to Mahailua Street. Survey results helped determine that the infested area is approximately 4 acres of state land in gulch areas outside nurseries in that area. Repeated surveys inside the nurseries and on the nursery stock have not captured any little fire ants. The Oahu Invasive Species Committee, US Fish and Wildlife Service, University of Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources and Hawaii National Guard all participated with HDOA in the effort.
- On Thursday April 17, 2014, HDOA and Cas Vanderwoude PhD., the Little Fire Ant expert in Hawaii assessed the site to determine the most appropriate management action.
- Since February, the ICS LFA Outreach Group (including HDOA, CGAPS, OISC, HISC, US FWS, TNC, DLNR, HAL, KISC, MISC, and UH) have attended 8 orchid society meetings and shows to educate and train the public on surveying for LFA. Additional outreach was conducted at the 1000 Tree Giveaway and Mililani Garden Club.
- The Outreach Group is also developing educational materials and working on targeted outreach plans to reach critical audiences. The key component of the LFA response on Oahu is an engaged an involved public that surveys their own properties or anywhere infested material may have been moved. Click here for HDOA guidelines on how to survey your property and plants today!