White Footed Ants Are New Oahu Pest

KANEOHE (KHNL) - There's a pest crawling its way across Oahu lately, and it could be headed your way. It's called the white footed ant, and exterminators say calls to get rid of that ant have gone up. It's been a growing problem for a few years now, according to Terminix Hawaii.

They're not sure why it's a problem, but they do say ant populations are cyclical, and in a few more years it could be a different species that's the issue. In the meantime, if you have these ants, here's what you can do to try to tackle it, advises Terminix Hawaii's Carlton Agena: "Get rid of their nesting sites like dead leaves, don't have vegetation or trees touching the house. Make sure you don't have crumbs or sugar stuff in the house. And pick up the dog poop if you have dogs. They will even eat that."

Agena says the white footed ants (you can only see the white feet under the microscope; to the naked eye they look like black ants that are one eighth inch long) like to live off the honeydew, or excrement, of aphids and other insects. So make sure your yard plants are clean.

Of the 45 species of ants in Hawaii, Terminix says these are the hardest to get rid of because the worker ants don't eat bait traps, they eat their own sterilized eggs. Ant colonies from this species can reach into the millions.