There are two new infestations of little fire ants that have sprung up on Oahu, according to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. Both infestations are located on the windward side of the island.
The first infestation was found in Lanikai. It involves six residential properties on Po’o Po’o place.
Officials haven’t said yet how the invasive stinging pests got to the area, but they’re now working with the residents to treat the area and get rid of the ants.
One woman who lives on one of the affected properties said she was surprised when the Department of Agriculture knocked on her door.
“[They] knocked on the door one day and said we have these kits for you to test and put around in your yard,” said Jane Lipp, a Lanikai resident. “they came back and said you wont even need to use the kit. We tested and you have little fire ants in the front yard, in the front part of the house.”
“It’s really a terrible thing and we want to get rid of them, and we’re really proud that the state is doing this,” said Lipp. “I have a list of all the different chemicals that they might be using and they’ll come once a month [to treat the area.]”
The fire ants were also found in an isolated part of Kualoa Ranch.
This infestation was located about 14 acres in an area that previously underwent a native species restoration project, and is currently not open to human foot traffic.