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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:

June 8 – August 29, 2015
 
  • Surveys:
    • The Hawaii Departments of Agriculture (DOA) & Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) report on Friday, August 28, 2015, that the first round of post-infestation surveys in Waimanalo and Mililani Mauka did not turn up any evidence of Little Fire Ants (LFA).  Surveys will continue for the next three years.  Treatments, developed by the Hawaii Ant Lab, were applied in both locations once evidence of LFA was discovered.  The Waimanalo surveys were conducted by an inter-agency team on Thursday, August 27, and the Mililani Mauka surveys were conducted on Friday, August 28.  Also on Friday, Governor David Ige proclaimed September as "Stop the Ant" month and encourages all homeowners and landowners to conduct simple, annual surveys on their properties to help ensure the further spread of this invasive pest.
    • In this operational period, the LFA ICS team conducted 63 surveys on priority sites on Oahu. Surveys continue to be conducted 2-3 days per week, with priorities being nurseries at high risk for inadvertently harboring LFA.
  • Treatments:
    • The last of ten and eight LFA Treatments were conducted at Waimanalo (5/28)and Mililani Mauka (5/29), 2015; respectively. HDOA Plant Pest Control (PPC) personnel waited three months (to allow any undetectable LFA populations to grow to detectable levels) before following up with a large comprehensive survey on August 27-28, 2015 at both sites.
    • Oahu Invasive Species Committee (OISC) conducted vegetation control to keep the Waimanalo site clear for the comprehensive survey.
    • The Mililani Mauka site continues to be maintained by the Mililani Town Association in cooperation with the HDOA PPC.
  • Outreach:
    • 10 outreach events presented LFA information to over 1,550 community members during this period.
    • Governor David Ige’s proclamation for September, 2015, as “Spot the Ant, Stop the Ant” Month.
      • Oahu radio campaign with KSSK (iHeartMedia) kicked off with Perry and Price Saturday, August 29, 2015 broadcast.
        • 15” & 30” PSAs to be broadcast on KSSK and sister stations
      • New “Spot the Ant, Stop the Ant” logo created (see below)
 
  • Little fact about Little Fire Ants: Wasmannia auropunctata (aka “Little Fire Ant” or LFA) is blamed for reducing species diversity, reducing overall abundance of flying and tree-dwelling insects, and eliminating arachnid populations. It is also known for its painful stings.
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

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