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Mililani Mauka neighborhood infested with little fire ants

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 10:54 a.m. HST, Jun 27, 2014

State agriculture officials are inspecting a Mililani Mauka neighborhood where a little fire ant infestation was discovered.

It is the first residential area reporting an infestation on Oahu.

Six homes in the neighborhood in the 95-1000 block of Auina Street were treated with pesticides, an Agriculture Department spokeswoman said.

The infestation was discovered by a homeowner who brought in an ant sample for testing on June 18, said Janelle Shiraishi, the department spokeswoman.

When the test came back positive, the home was treated and an adjoining parcel was surveyed.

Other homes in the area that tested positive also were treated.

Agriculture officials canvassed the neighborhood Friday, leaving bait traps to determine the extent of the infestation, which some neighbors said has been a problem for several years.

Little fire ants have been found on Hawaii island since 1999, but in December 2013 they were detected on Hawaiian ferns at stores on Maui and Oahu. Small infestations at five Oahu nurseries, three of which were in Waimanalo, were treated and the ants were eradicated.

In May, a small infestation of little fire ants was discovered at a Wailea hotel on Maui. The area was treated with pesticides.

Little fire ants, measuring about a 16th-of-an-inch long, are pale orange in color and can cause painful stings.

Suspected invasive species should be reported to the state's toll-free PEST HOTLINE - 643-PEST (7378). 

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nitpikker wrote:
blame the nurseries. lax inspections on their part especially if they know they have the pests.
on June 27,2014 | 10:32AM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
There seems to be more and more of these little fire ant infestations.
on June 27,2014 | 11:24AM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
Chicken skin! Whenever I read articles about these little buggahs..... We seriously need to comprehensively, effectively and completely address and eradicate this threat.
on June 27,2014 | 12:19PM
Pocho wrote:
We had these Little Fire Ants since the early to mid 90's at the Pearl City Rec. Center adjacent to Pearl City Highlands Intermediate on the lower field. Think even the winds carried them on to us. Small but they pack a bite
on June 27,2014 | 01:40PM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
Pocho, you sure that's not the "normal" kind red ants? Those are different than these buggahs. These are smaller and bite way worse. Plus they live up too, in trees etc. The other ones, they live in dirt only.
on June 27,2014 | 02:59PM
HanabataDays wrote:
"Several years"? Ay, mamita querida! We all need to be twice as vigilant now. Put out the peanut butter traps and see what you catch! This is one pest we definitely we don't want to see naturalized on O`ahu. Bad enough I gotta nuke my retirement land in Puna arready.
on June 27,2014 | 02:28PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Fire ants are here to stay. No amount of money thrown at the problem will eradicate them, but the state will spend millions of dollars in failed attempts to do so.
on June 27,2014 | 05:30PM
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