Little fire ants are spreading throughout the state.
First introduced to Puna in 1999, and shortly thereafter to Kaua’i, these ants are one of the worst invasive species imaginable in Hawai’i. They invade houses, gardens, and forests. The ants are also arboreal; they swarm up plants and trees. When disturbed, they drop off, falling onto people and animals. Unsuspecting victims are left with painful stings.
Until recently, little fire ants were limited primarily to Hawai’i Island but as infestations have grown there, so has inevitability of their spread.
In January of 2014 little fire ants were detected on Oʻahu, leading to a multi-agency response resulting in containment and eradication. These tiny pests have hitchhiked to Maui and Lānaʻi as well. Meanwhile, Hawaiʻi Island residents are faced with creating sanctuaries amidst a sea of stinging ants.
This 30 minute documentary examines the spread of the little fire ant and the people who work to address one of the most significant invasive species problems confronting the Islands.
Funding support for this video was provided in part by the Maui Invasive Species Committee and the Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Council.