October will be declared “Stop the Ant” month on the Big Island.
The proclamation is part of a statewide effort to raise awareness of the Little Fire Ant’s impacts and to encourage residents to take action by surveying their property.
The ant was first found in Puna in 1999, and has spread throughout the Big Island with colonies found on Oahu, Maui and Kauai.
Little Fire Ants are not just a stinging nuisance –they are also a threat to agriculture and animals.
A 2015 University of Hawaii study found that if left unmanaged, the ants could cost the Big Island’s agriculture industry more than a billion dollars.
Franny Brewer is the Communications Director of the Big Island Invasive Species Committee.
She says residents can do their part by surveying various areas on their property.
Brewer says once residents get the results there are several options for pest control including the Department of Agriculture for Oahu, Maui and Kauai.
The Big Island Invasive Species Committee will be holding several events throughout the county to help residents.
More information can be found at http://stoptheant.org