Little Fire Ant Program
Little Fire Ants have invaded multiple locations on Kauaʻi. As of 2022, there are three active sites and two previously infested sites being monitored. LFA is a high priority target for KISC and it will take a community effort to stay vigilant and survey properties annually for these invaders.
The earlier new populations are detected, the greater the chance we have to successfully contain them. Once LFAs start biting across large swaths of land, it may be too late. Now is the time to come together as a community and prevent the long term impact on our island.
What can we do?
Test for LFA in your backyard:
(For a 3-minute video on how to sample, visit stoptheant.org/report-little-fire-ants)
Testing is as easy as peanut butter on a stick:
- Use a wooden chopstick or stir stick and dip in peanut butter
- Place peanut butter dipped sticks around yard in shady areas
- Leave sticks out for at least 1 hour
- Collect sticks and place in plastic bag
- Freeze bag for 24 hours
- Write your name, location, and phone number on bag, and mail or drop off bag to HDOA or KISC office
- HODA: 4398 A Pua Loke St, Lihue
- KISC: 7370 #K Kuamoo Rd, Kapaa
Kaua’i Locations where Free LFA Test Kits are available:
Free test kits can be found at any of our local libraries (Princeville, Kapaa, Lihue, Koloa, Hanapepe, and Waimea). LFA test kits are also available at:
- HDOA office on Pua Loke in Lihue
- KISC office, 7370 Kuamoo Rd, Wailua. Call us at 808-821-1490 or email email@example.com
*Farmers and large land owners, please contact KISC for larger survey kits
Do we have LFA on Kauaʻi?
- Yes, currently there are 5 known population sites.
- Through the collective efforts of HDOA, KISC, and the Hawaiʻi Ant Lab, treatment has been largely successful at the first three sites with LFA now undetectable at the Kalihiwai and Kilauea locations and reduced at the Moloaa site.
- In 2022, two new populations have been detected (Wailua and Koloa/Omao). Delimiting surveys are underway to determine the population size and perimeter.
Can LFA be controlled and eradicated from Kauaʻi?
Yes, LFA infestations can be successfully eradicated by following a treatment and monitoring plan using proven techniques developed by Hawaii Ant Lab (HAL).
For island-wide eradication, we need to first locate all LFA populations. Early detection is essential, we have a greater chance at preventing widespread establishment if we find small populations before they grow too large to eradicate. As part of our LFA Early Detection strategy, KISC crews complete island-wide LFA surveys at high-risk sites. The community also participates in early detection surveys by testing their property annually.
For successful LFA site eradication, all LFA must be completely eliminated from the site and site must stay LFA free. When an LFA site is confirmed, KISC and HDOA crews complete initial surveys to determine the size of the infestation. In partnership with HDOA and HAL, a LFA control plan is developed for the site. During the active treatment phase, KISC and HDOA crews will treat the infested areas regularly for one year. Treatment continues at the site until no LFA are detected. Once no LFA are detected at the site, the site is then monitored for at least 4 years. We monitor the sites with an annual survey to ensure treatment was successful and no LFA remain at the site.
LFA are not widespread and present everywhere on Kauai. Let’s keep it that way by detecting and eradicating the small LFA populations early.
Help protect Kauai’s people, pets, agriculture, and ecosystem:
Test your yard for LFA today!