November 28, 2021

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Moloa‘a farm detects Little Fireplace Ants, surveying ongoing

LIHU‘E — A new detection of Small Fireplace Ants (LFA) has been located on Kaua‘i in the Moloa‘a location.

This new infestation is the largest regarded infestation on Kaua‘i with LFA verified in around 13 acres. The treatment location is believed to exceed that.

In July, a anxious farmer submitted suspected LFA samples to the Kaua‘i Invasive Species Committee (KISC). KISC and Hawai‘i Section of Agriculture teams are at the moment conducting delimiting surveys to figure out the sizing of the infestation.

The 1st regarded LFA population on Kaua‘i was contained to 11 acres in Kalihiwai. HDOA, KISC, and the Hawai‘i Ant Lab’s multiyear eradication efforts have proved promising with the final LFA detected at the internet site in January 2019. The 2nd identified LFA populace has been contained to 2.5 acres with treatment method proving promising once again as the very last detection of LFA at the website was in March 2020. These groups are currently creating a treatment method prepare for the new infestation.

This new infestation is specially concerning for the reason that of the probable impacts to the agricultural local community on Kaua‘i.

LFA can effortlessly infest agricultural fields and farms, where by they can harm crops and sting personnel. They advertise plant pests such as aphids, white flies and scale bugs, which secrete plant sap that the ants take in. The ants then guard these bugs from pure predators and parasites. Because of to LFA’s fantastic hitch-hiking competencies and their probable effect to all agriculture on Kaua‘i, it is important for Kaua‘i farmers to survey and detect any attainable LFA early.

“These ants will be devastating for our island if they come to be popular,” said Tiffani Keanini, supervisor of the Kaua‘i Invasive Species Committee. “If LFA are detected promptly and treatment commences early, they can be eradicated, but the lengthier they have to build, the far more hard the problem becomes.”

KISC and HDOA have partnered with Malama Kaua‘i and the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau to motivate farmers on Kaua‘i to study their farms for LFA, no cost LFA survey kits will be accessible for their sellers and customers. People or companies can choose up an LFA testing package at your community library or simply call KISC at 808-821-1490.

At first from South The united states, LFA is viewed as amid the world’s worst invasive species. LFA are tiny ants, measuring one particular-sixteenth inch long, and pale orange in color. LFA can deliver unpleasant stings and substantial pink welts and could trigger blindness in animals and livestock. They construct huge tremendous-colonies on the ground, in trees and other vegetation, as perfectly as, within buildings and households. At the time set up, LFA will totally overrun a home or farm.

LFA are a lot more compact than tropical crimson ants and black ants and can usually journey undetected which will make them quite uncomplicated to unknowingly unfold. Remarkably-experienced hitch-hikers, these tiny ants unfold by stowing absent in potted crops, flowers, and other cargo, where they go undetected. LFA can be existing in small quantities and keep below the radar in a new locale for extended periods right before they are seen.