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Second Oahu neighborhood infested with stinging ants

An infestation of little fire ants has been confirmed in Ahuimanu — a second Windward Oahu neighborhood.

An area totaling about three acres was treated Thursday by the state Department of Agriculture and the Hawaii Ant Lab, and in a Kaneohe neighborhood where the stinging ants were found in December.

The state said in a press release that a resident in Ahuimanu reported ants and checks of the area and a nearby home of a relative turned up two infestations around Ahuimanu Road, with 13 properties on one site and five on the other for a total of about three acres. HDOA Plant Pest Control specialists from Hawaii Island were also brought in to help conduct the treatments.

The infestations in Kaneohe and Ahuimanu do not appear to be related, the state said.

Last week, LFA was also confirmed on a plant that was purchased at the Punahou Carnival.

“These recent detections should be a warning to homeowners on all uninfested islands to check for little fire ants periodically,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, acting chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture in the press release. “People traveling from infested areas should also be very cautious of potentially transporting these tiny ants in plant material, baggage and cargo.”

Eleven properties on about two acres are infested in Kaneohe around Alokahi Street, which was also treated Thursday for the second time as part of a treatment plan “using several types of pesticides and bait formulas applied in six-week intervals for a total of at least eight treatments,” according to the press release

In 2015, LFA was successfully eradicated in a six-acre infestation site in Mililani Mauka using the same treatment protocol being used in the two Windward Oahu infestation sites.

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

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