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Mulching to add costs in fighting little fire ants

  • Courtesy Hawaii Department of Agriculture
    State agriculture officials announced this week that an infestation zone in Mili­lani Mauka was free of little fire ants in its latest spot survey. Crews have completed the fifth of eight planned pesticide treatments.
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HILO >> Officials on Hawaii’s Big Island are looking at an expected additional cost of $600,000 in preventing the spread of invasive little fire ants in mulching operations.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports the Hawaii County Council Finance Committee on Tuesday unanimously advanced the county administration’s request to solicit up to $2.4 million in contracts annually.

The action applies to operations that would turn green waste into mulch at some county landfills.

The county is planning a different course from the $1.8 million current contract, which expires Dec. 31.

Under the new approach, the county plans to test a method to kill little fire ants by creating rows of green waste and turning them as the organic matter breaks down. That would create heat necessary to kill the ants.

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