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
*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:
June 2 - 16, 2014 Update
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 973-9528. Mahalo.
- During this past operational period, the LFA ICS team conducted 15 surveys at priority sites on Oahu. Surveys are primarily conducted by HDOA and OISC staff, with additional assistance from the OANRP and US FWS.
- Sites where LFA-infested hapuu material was removed in December were resurveyed; all surveys were negative.
- One survey this period resulted in a new positive detection in the Waimanalo area. This site has been surveyed three times, with one positive detection of LFA. This single detection indicates that there is a very small population. Further indication of this being a small incipient infestation is that other ant species were found in the same vial as the LFA. Finding the ants at these low numbers is critical for eradication on a site basis. Treatment and continual monitoring will begin this operational period.
- Maui Update: One very small incipient population has been identified at a hotel in Wailea, Maui. The Maui Invasive Species Committee has been very strategic and effective at site survey prioritization, leading to this new site being identified at a very early stage. Treatment and monitoring are underway, for more detailed information click here
- The LFA ICS Outreach group developed a new outreach tool to help the public implement surveys on their own properties and with any new plants or landscaping. This new video goes step by step through the survey process and accompanies HDOA’s online surveying instructions found here
- Please share this video with all your friends and neighbors: https://vimeo.com/97558997. Mahalo nui to Domingo Cravalho, US FWS, Dan Dennison, DLNR and Christy Martin, CGAPS for production!
- Little fact about Little Fire Ants: Blindness in 1 or both eyes of pets including cats and dogs has been associated with areas infested with little fire ants. Veterinarians on the Big Island have documented pets developing tropical keratopathy (a clouding of the cornea leading to partial blindness) in infested areas.