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East Maui Little Fire Ant Status Update Community Meeting

The Maui Invasive Species Committee and Hawaii Ant Lab will give a presentation covering the current status and treatment of the little fire ant infestations in East Maui. The presentation will be Thursday, July 9th, at 5:30 pm in the Hana Community Center cafeteria.

The little fire ant is a highly invasive ant from South America that was first detected on Hawaii Island in 1999. It has since been found on Kauai (1999), Maui (2009), and Oahu (2013). The stinging ant threatens agriculture, tourism, human health, and the environmental health of communities across Hawaii.

The Nahiku little fire ant infestation was discovered September 18th 2014 by a crew from the Maui Invasive Species Committee. At over 20 acres, it is the largest infestation of little fire ants detected outside of Hawaii Island. Control efforts began in January 2015.

The Huelo little fire ant infestation was confirmed in January of 2015 after a resident reported being stung while picking fruit. The infestation is approximately 4 acres and has been treated regularly since January.

Kits will be available for residents to collect samples of ants from their homes, but if residents are concerned they may have little fire ants, they can bring samples in for identification. Collection guidelines can be found at www.lfa-hawaii.org.

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