Waimanalo little fire ant infestation targeted

HONOLULU (AP) - State officials plan to attack a little fire ant infestation on Oahu with pesticide baits beginning this month.

The state Department of Agriculture said Friday a survey of than 50 acres in Waimanalo found an infestation on state land and mulch areas outside nurseries.

The infested area is about three-and-a-half acres. Officials will treat about six acres, including a buffer zone.

Little fire ants are native to South America.

They can inflict painful stings and large red welts on people and cause blindness in pets. They can build up very large colonies on the ground and in trees and completely overrun a property.

The ants have been on Hawaii Island since 1999. They were spotted on Oahu and Maui in December.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.