Little fire ants spread across Big Island
HONOLULU — State officials have confirmed little fire ants have spread from the east side of the Big Island to the west side.
The Department of Agriculture says the stinging ant is considered one of the world’s most invasive species.
The department said Wednesday that the little fire ant was detected this month at two locations in Kailua-Kona.
The ant was first found in the state in 1999 in the Puna area of the Big Island. In October, it was detected on a farm in Waihee, Maui.
A native of South America, the little fire ant is pale orange in color and moves slowly. It can produce painful stings and large red welts, and may cause blindness in pets.
The ant can build up very large colonies on the ground or in vegetation, and moves freely into homes.