State seeks to raise awareness about little fire ants as it treats infestations

State seeks to raise awareness about little fire ants as it treats infestations
The state Agriculture Department says several islands are dealing with little fire ant infestations. (Source: Hawaii Department of Agriculture)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state it’s treating 10 little fire infestations on three islands ― in a situation the Board of Agriculture says should be “cause for concern for everyone.”

The state said there are seven infestations being treated on Oahu, two on Maui and one on Kauai.

The Oahu infestations are in Kaneohe, Ahuimanu, Kualoa, Makiki Heights, Pauoa and Laie.

Areas in Wailuku and Waihee on Maui and Kilauea on Kauai are also being treated.

“The increasing number of LFA detections in previously uninfested areas should be cause for concern for everyone,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairwoman of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture, in a news release.

“It is imperative that residents check their properties periodically to prevent the spread of infestations in their neighborhoods.”

Little fire ants, originally from South America, are considered among the world’s most invasive species.

The tiny ants are pale orange ― and have a mighty sting. They can even cause blindness in pets.

Anyone who suspects they may have little fire ants on their property is asked to call the state’s pest hotline at 643-PEST. Get more information on little fire ants by clicking here.

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