HONOLULU, Hawaii – Hawaii County will get over $300,000 to fight the little fire ant if Senate Bill 2920 becomes law.
On Thursday the Ways and Means Committee gave the OK to the pilot project on Hawaii Island. The county will take the lead on hiring necessary personnel and developing a strategy to eradicate the tiny, stinging ants.
From the bill:
(a) The county of Hawaii’s department of parks and recreation shall implement a little fire ant pilot project. The pilot project shall:
(1) Address the spread of the little fire ants within infested county parks;
(2) Test different types of pesticides for controlling and eradicating the little fire ant; and
(3) Develop model strategies to eradicate the threat of little fire ants that other counties can implement.
As Puna Senator Russell Ruderman told us this week, the state has been slow to assist the Big Island with its little fire ant problem in the past. The lfa has been on the island since 1999. Now that the ant has spread to Oahu and Maui, suddenly the state is taking notice.
“We didnt see any great concern or mobilization of action when (little fire ants) first showed up on the Big Island,” Sen. Ruderman said. “And that’s a great frustration for me, because that’s when we could have addressed these problems effectively.”
“We are making a big issue of combating the invasive species in the joint majority package,” said Ways and Means chair Sen. David Ige. “We’ll see whether we can move forward with this.”
Status of bills represent up-to-date information via State Legislative website
SB 2920 SD1 – RELATING TO INVASIVE SPECIES
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