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Little Fire Ants, etc.
In response to 141272: littlefire ants, posted by Richard B on Thursday, 31 August 2017, at 8:31 p.m.
I "freaked out" when I found fire ants on our property a few months ago, and asked my friends on Facebook for advice/comfort. Some of them are on the east side of the island and have been battling them for a dozen years...In fact, a friend said the most common conversation starter with new residents on the east side of the island is "Do you have ants?"
It turns out that the ants have now settled in on the west side of the island too, according to the Hawaii Ant Lab. We are using baits to keep them at bay in our yard, reloading them every two weeks approximately. In Holualoa, the ants are prevalent, and wash downhill when it rains, so it would be difficult/impossible to totally eradicate them, even if all your neighbors were treating their property for them too, which is not the case in our neighborhood...
Thank goodness the ants are not aggressive. They bite if they get caught in the crook of your arm or in your clothing, but I've only had two bites, and Bob one, since we discovered them. I will say that I am avoiding some yard work in the more dense foliage areas, but being aware that they are there is a big boon. Don't knock trees/banana plants, for instance, so the ants won't fall on you.
I've found out by others' stories that these ants are very common in the southern United States, and in the Palm Springs area (large ants with welt-making bites there).
I was very concerned about our inside/outside cat, but it is not certain that the ants blind animals. Perhaps if the animals lay right on top of a nest and get "swarmed"? Our cat hasn't been affected, though he loves napping in foliage. We're keeping up our ant-baiting religiously.
From what I hear, little fire ants and coqui frogs are now entrenched on the island.
The Big Island is our home, and even the ants, slugs, mosquitos and coquis do not make us want to move.
P.S. Go to the Hawaii Ant Lab's website for detailed info about control. We ordered our bait stations from some guys in Puna who developed some rain-resistant ones: goodbyelittlefireants.com
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