(BIVN) – The Steam Vents parking lot in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will be closed temporarily on March 14 in order to treat the area for little fire ants, of LFA.
A National Park Service news release issued on Thursday announced the closure will take place on March 14 from 8 a.m. to noon. Only the Steam Vents parking lot and the trail from the parking lot to Wahinekapu (Steaming Bluff) will be closed, officials say. Wahinekapu and Crater Rim Trail will remain open.
The park will then treat the Steam Vents area every six weeks with the goal of completely eradicating the ants from the location.
According to the National Park Service:
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.
“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.