Little fire ant infestation found at Maui hotel

HONOLULU (AP) - The state Department of Agriculture says a Maui hotel is treating a small infestation of little fire ants.

Authorities last month confirmed a 400-square foot area of an unidentified hotel in Wailea was infested. It's been treated with a pesticide. The hotel will do follow-up treatments every six weeks under the direction of the Hawaii Ant Lab.

Board of Agriculture Chairman Scott Enright said Wednesday the infested area was caught early and crews are confident it can be eradicated.

Little fire ants are native to South America.

The ants may inflict painful stings and cause blindness in pets. They may build large colonies on the ground 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.