Categorized | Environment

Hawaii County awarded $375,000 to control little fire ants

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation has partnered with County Councilman Dennis “Fresh” Onishi to obtain $375,000 to control little fire ant infestations island-wide.

The State Department of Agriculture is providing $200,000, and the Hawaii Invasive Species Council has awarded a grant of $175,000 that will allow the Department of Parks and Recreation to establish a little fire ant (LFA) control program at County parks and facilities.

Funding will be used to hire up to three full-time employees who will work exclusively fighting LFA infestations island-wide, purchase bait and equipment, and finance transportation needs.

Once an infested park or facility has been identified, the LFA team will apply bait on a six-week cycle, rotate the bait type based on recommendations from the Hawaii Ant Lab, and then continually monitor the treated area to ensure a reduction in ant infestations.

Similar treatments conducted at Richardson Ocean Park in Hilo have reduced LFA populations in the affected areas by up to 40 percent, according to data collected during a recently completed pilot project involving the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Hawaii Ant Lab.

Ranked among the world’s worst invasive species due to the environmental harm they cause and ability to inflict painful stings that can blind animals, LFAs have established colonies in numerous areas following their discovery on Hawaii Island in 1999.

The Department of Parks and Recreation wishes to thank Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture, and Hawaii Invasive Species Council members for providing the funding needed to establish the LFA control program.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

 

 

Become a fan on facebook

 

 

Quantcast
%d bloggers like this: