WAILUKU, Hawaii >> Maui officials say infestations of little fire ants have been discovered in Huelo and on a single property in Haiku.
The Maui News reports the discoveries are the fifth time the invasive species has evaded quarantine on Maui and the ninth infestation on the island since 2009.
Maui Invasive Species Committee manager Teya Penniman says the new infestations are another example that the ants are getting through quarantine measures despite the best efforts of officials.
The Huelo infestation involves as many as seven properties.
The state says the ant is considered among the world’s worst invasive species.
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.