EAST HAWAIʻI MASTER GARDENER PROGRAM

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East Hawaiʻi Master Gardener Coordinator

Eli Isele

Eli Isele
Komohana Research & Extension Complex
875 Komohana St. B-101
Hilo, HI 96720
elihu@hawaii.edu
Phone: (808) 969-8209


East Hawai'i Master Gardener Links

 

Information on Little Fire Ants

If you have come in contact with the Little Fire Ant, then you know that this is a pest to be taken very seriously! The bite of the Little Fire Ant burns like fire and some people can develop red welts that burn and itch for days. These pests can hitchhike onto your property in potted plants, mulch, firewood, and soil. They also migrate. If your neighbors have Little Fire Ants, then chances are you will encounter Little Fire Ants on your own property in time.

Unfortunately, once your property is infested with Little Fire Ants, you will probably never successfully eradicate them. The best you can do is to avoid bringing them onto your property in the first place and, if your property or home is infested, to manage their numbers by using the methods developed by Dr. Cas Vandervoude.

Go to www.littlefireants.com to find all the information you need to battle this pest.

 

Survey Your Property for LFA 

Here’s an easy way to use chopsticks and peanut butter to test your property for the presence of Little Fire Ants. Not all ants that show up at the peanut butter buffet are Little Fire Ants. There are other protein eating ants that are little, and red, so take the time to identify them accurately.

 

Identify the Ants

Put ant specimens in a ziplock bag and freeze them, or put ants in rubbing alcohol. Take or mail your ant specimens for identification to one of the following:

 

Treat for Little Fire Ants

  • Once you have surveyed your property and confirmed that you have LFA, begin treatment.
  • Treat with bait every 4-6 weeks, until no ants are found on surveys. Best times to treat are early morning or late afternoon. Do not treat in the rain.
  • Apply barriers to keep ants from entering your home, if you are getting bitten inside. Do NOT apply barriers to the border of your lot if your property is currently infested. Creating a barrier on your border while your still treating will prevent the ants from taking the bait back to their nest if they are nesting on surrounding properties. 
  • Once ants are no longer present, survey your property at least 4 times a year to detect any new accidental infestations. 

 

Manage Little Fire Ants

Information on how to manage little fire ants on your property.