Agriculture department says Pearl Harbor ants exterminated

The all-clear has been given after a discovery last week at Pearl Harbor raised alarms.

It was a story you first saw on KHON2. State inspectors quarantined two shipping containers after the U.S. Navy came across a colony of black carpenter ants.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture identified them as Camponotus pennsylvanicus, a common pest on the mainland that can grow to a half-inch in length.

Experts say established colonies can contain thousands of workers and can be destructive over time.

The state was called in to fumigate the containers.

“Late Friday afternoon the military actually fumigated the containers with the same kind of chemicals that they use to fumigate houses for termites,” said state entomologist Chris Kishimoto. “Today we went back to verify that all the ants were dead. We could not find any live ants there when we checked.”

The Navy now plans to use the large oak timbers in the containers for a dry dock project.

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