HONOLULU, Hawaii – State lawmakers are trying to figure out how – with all the money spent and awareness promoted – little fire ants still made it to Oahu and Maui.
The invasive pest, which produce painful stings, is considered one of the biggest biological threats to Hawaii. The tiny ant is originally from South America, but it has become well established on Hawaii Island, especially East Hawaii. The LFA hitched a ride on some hapuu, and the Department of Agriculture admits they don’t inspect the Hawaiian tree fern because it falls outside their inspection jurisdiction of propagated plants.
The issue was recently discussed with Department of Land and Natural Resources chair Bill Aila at an informational briefing at the state Capitol.
The Hawaii Invasive Species Council is an interdepartmental collaboration.