Scientists address Hawaii’s battle against Little Fire Ants

In one week, Big Island officials will go up against a tiny but pervasive insect.

Crews will put out a second round of baiting treatments next Thursday to combat Little Fire Ants at Hilo’s Richardson Ocean Park. The park will close from 2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 27 until 7 a.m. Friday, March 28 for the treatment.

This is just the latest effort to eradicate these stinging bugs.

“When we can find them early and the invasive species only covers and acre or two, we can eradicate them fairly easily,” said Dr. Casper Vanderwoude of Hawaii Ant Lab. “That’s why early detection is really important. Getting to an outbreak before it has a chance to take hold does allow us to attempt an eradication.”

Vanderwoude says Little Fire Ants are one of the most problematic pest species in the world because they build their nest in trees and on the ground.

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