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Temporary closure of National park steam vents parking lot March 14 for little fire ant treatment

MEDIA RELEASE

Hawaii National Park, HI – The Steam Vents parking lot in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will be closed Thursday, March 14 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon for the treatment of invasive little fire ants (LFA).  

In late 2018, park scientists made the unwelcome discovery of LFAs in the park. Three acres of the popular Steam Vents area is infested with the ants. LFA are a major threat to native species, including other insects and birds, as well as to humans. No bites have yet been reported in the park. 

Only the Steam Vents parking lot and the trail from the parking lot to Wahinekapu (Steaming Bluff) will be closed on March 14 from 8 a.m. to noon; Wahinekapu and Crater Rim Trail will remain open. The park will treat Steam Vents every six weeks and will announce closures in news releases, the park website, www.nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes, and via social media. The goal is to completely eradicate the ants from the area. 

“We are optimistic that our efforts to eliminate LFA from this site will be successful, and we again remind the public to check their vehicles and belongings to ensure they do not inadvertently bring LFA into the park,” said park ecologist David Benitez.

For more information on LFA, how to control them and how to prevent spreading them, visit www.littlefireants.com/

HVNP Little Fire ants infestation

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