Mahalo to our funders, partners, and 187 landowners who allowed us to access and survey their property. Thanks to you all, OISC was able to survey 116,000 acres and remove 13,496 invasive species this year. We look forward to 2019 and wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season!
Do you manage or work for a company that leads visitors on land-based tours in Hawaiʻi? Do you want to stand out as an active protector of Hawaiʻi’s natural resources? If so, then you won’t want to miss out on a FREE TRAINING for terrestrial tour operators
Little fire ants (LFA) may be tiny, but they pack a powerful sting. Native to South America, these speck-sized invaders have hitchhiked across the Pacific, hidden in imported goods, establishing new populations in islands like Hawaiʻi. Much smaller than the average ant, LFA are about as long as a penny is thick.
LFA are considered one of the World’s 100 Worst Invasive Species (IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group), because of their ability to reach very high numbers, to the point where people and animals can’t avoid stings. Without the competition and predators that could keep their numbers in check, they are invading houses, yards, agricultural fields, and forests. They’re also terrible at hanging on, so they easily fall off plants and trees when bumped by people or animals. Unsuspecting victims of the “ant rain” are left with painful stings. Pets living in areas with dense populations of these ants develop clouded eye corneas from repeated stings to their eyes. This is painful for pets and the blindness is permanent.
Little fire ants may have reached our shores, but we can’t treat it like “just another ant.” It’s up to each of us to Spot The Ant and Stop the Ant.
On Oahu, LFA have been detected in two locations in 2014…Mililani and Waimanalo. Both sites have been successfully treated and will continue to be monitored for at least three years after the last LFA detection to ensure eradication.
That said…we don’t know where else they could be. They continue to be intercepted at port inspections, but not every shipment can be looked at and ants are pretty small! Residents and businesses can help us look for these ants. If we can find them, we can get rid of them and stop the spread!
Simply collect your ants, freeze them, then mail them to us for identification. There are 57 species of ants in Hawaii. We need your ants in hand to identify the species under a microscope. Collecting your ants is easy to do with things you have in your home.
What you’ll need:
- disposable chopsticks, stirrers, or popsicle sticks (about 10 sticks)
- cheap peanut butter (if allergic to pb, use mayonnaise)
- zip top bag
- envelope and one stamp
Collecting & Submitting Ants
- Smear a thin coat of peanut butter or mayo on one end of a disposable chopstick or popsicle stick.
- Place sticks in shady areas in, around, and on plants, including potted plants, around pet feeding areas, and trash cans. For a thorough survey, place at least three sticks per plant, and/or one stick every two feet. Leave the sticks out for 45 minutes to 1 hour to attract ants.
- Carefully pick up the sticks (so the ants don’t fall off!), and seal them in a plastic bag. Write your name, contact number, and the date on the bag and freeze for 24 hours to kill the ants.
- Mail the zip top bag of dead ants to the OISC.
- 743 Ulukahiki St., Kailua, HI 96734
For more information about LFA and their distribution throughout the islands, visit: www.stoptheant.org
On July 19th, 2018 an adult female coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB) was found in Waimanalo. This is the first detection on Oahu’s east side since the beetle arrived on the island in December 2013. There are no other signs of beetles establishing themselves in the area and more traps have been deployed to aid in monitoring. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture biological control section chief, Darcy Oishi, says it’s likely the beetle hitchhiked to the area.
Coconut rhinoceros beetles breed in mulch and green waste piles. Adult beetles feed not only on coconut trees, but also date palms, pineapple, taro, sugar cane, papaya, hala and native loulu palms. It’s recommended to inspect mulch and green waste piles regularly and report any suspect CRB grubs, adults or suspected damage to CRB Response at 679-5244 or email BeetleBustersHI@gmail.com.
The State of Hawaii is hosting the 1st annual Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Month (HISAM) for the month of February 2018. HISAM is an expansion on the past 5 years of hosting the Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week and is organized in coordination with the U.S. National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) and regional Pacific Invasive Species Awareness efforts. HISAM seeks to promote information sharing and public engagement in what the Hawaii State Legislature has declared “the single greatest threat to Hawaii’s economy and natural environment and to the health and lifestyle of Hawaii’s people.”
6th Annual HISC Awards: Recognizing individuals and groups for their outstanding service to Hawaii in the fight against invasive species.
Award Categories :
- Business Leader: Recognizes an individual in the private sector or a business that has demonstrated leadership in their role of protecting Hawaii from invasive species.
- Community Hero: Recognizes a community member or community-based group that has been a shining example of dedication to prevent and/or manage invasive species.
- Greatest Hit: Recognizes an individual, organization, or agency responsible for one of the major invasive species highlights in the areas of research, prevention, control, and/or public outreach.
- Island MVPs: Four awards will be given in this category and are selected by the various Island Invasive Species Committee to recognize an individual or group that has made substantial contributions towards advancing invasive species management in Hawaii.
- Hottest Pest Report: Recognizes an individual who reported a high-profile invasive species to the 643pest invasive species reporting system.
HAVE YOU TESTED YOUR YARD FOR LITTLE FIRE ANT? It’s soooo easy and even more important. Find them…before they find you!!
We need your help! ...you can pick up free test kits at these Oʻahu locations to collect and send in your ant samples:
Mānoa Public Library: 2716 Woodlawn Dr. Manoa, HI 96822 HOURS
Waikiki-Kapahulu Library: 400 Kapahulu Ave. Honolulu, HI 96815 HOURS
Waimānalo Library: 41-1320 Kalanianaeole Hwy. Waimanalo, HI 96795 HOURS
Pearl City Home Depot: 1021 Kamehameha Hwy, Pearl City, HI 96782 HOURS
Do you need a free test kit? NO…all you need are chopsticks and peanut butter: How To Test for LFA
Q: We’ve already got fire ants are everywhere…I always get stung at the beach and the park. What’s the big deal?
A: Most people on Oʻahu have experienced “Tropical Fire Ant”…but “Little Fire Ant” is a different beast. Tropical Fire Ants live in sunny, dry areas….while Little Fire Ants like it shady and damp. Also, Little Fire Ants will live in the trees and on the ground. People who have experienced areas heavily infested with little fire ant talk of “raining ants” and getting repeated stings on their head, face, arms and back. This is the situation we want to avoid on Oʻahu.
Q: I’ve never seen little fire ant at my place, why should I test?
A: Just because you don’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not there. Little fire ant only spread about 60 feet per year (as long as we don’t move them). So, they could be hanging out in a shrub, going unnoticed for a long time. We want to find them BEFORE they spread all over your yard. If we can find them while their colonies are still small…it’s so much easier to eradicate them.
Q: What happens if I do have little fire ants?
A: Because they are still not widespread on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi Dept. of Agriculture will help you get rid of them!
Q: Do I have to have go pick up one of these fancy test kits?
A: Nope!! All you need are some chopsticks, popsicle sticks, or coffee stirrers, a ziplock bag and some peanut butter (use lunch meat or mayo if you’re allergic to peanut butter). Testing is quick and easy in just 5 steps! For testing details, CLICK HERE
For more information on little fire ants in Hawaiʻi…visit: www.stoptheant.org
Submit a report using to alert the 643Pest Network of new pest sightings in Hawaii. The website 643pest.org (and the 643-PEST telephone hotline) are services provided by the State of Hawai‘i to help direct pest reports to the appropriate responding agency, or to community-based partnerships working with the state on invasive species issues.
…and they have just launched a new app for your smart phone! You can download the app using the QR code at the bottom or just search “643Pest” in your app store. Just keep it on your phone and reporting suspect pests is a breeze. It’s free, easy to use, and applicable state-wide. Together, we can stop the spread of invasive species!
Remember to call 911 immediately for all snake sightings.
A sample letter is below, please note your letter will be published on the Legislature’s website, so only include your address or phone number if it is a business.
There are 2 ways you can submit testimony:
1. By emailing the Ways & Means Committee at least 24 hrs before the hearing.
You can email your testimony to the Ways and Means Committee up until 9:30am on Tuesday the 28th at: WAMtestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov
2. Register at the Hawaii State Legislature
Website: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/login/register.asp and then submit your testimony online.
Mahalo in advance for your help! Please feel free to call OISC at 808-292-6691 if you have any questions.
Testimony of [name or company/entity name]
Supporting Funding for the Department of Land and Natural Resources’
Watershed and Invasive Species Programs
in H.B. 100 Relating to the State Budget
Senate Committee on Ways & Means
Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 9:30AM, Room 211
I [or_company/entity name_supports] am in strong support of funding for the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ and Department of Agriculture’s invasive species and watershed protection programs.
Invasive species affect everyone. Our water supply is at risk because our forests are at risk, our locally-grown crops are attacked by pests and diseases, our heritage trees like ʻōhiʻa are threatened by disease, and our health and well-being can be harmed by stinging insects and mosquito-borne diseases. However, we recognize that together we can make a difference if we make it a high priority for our government and ourselves to prevent new introductions, control the worst pests already present, educate ourselves and others, and use good science to support our collective efforts.
Feel free to include some specific information about yourself or your organization and why this issue and your ISC is important to you. Information about local jobs created or maintained is also useful to include.]
Thank you for your support.
[name and title – your actual signature is nice but not essential]
GRADES: 7-12 (Schools in Hawaii only)
TOPIC: Impacts of Invasive Species on Hawaii’s Economy, Environment, Quality of Life, or Human Health
LENGTH: 30 seconds
DETAILS: Create a short (30sec) video based on the topic described above. Videos can follow any type of format (interview, musical, animation, documentary, etc.)
JUDGING: Videos will be judged based on these five categories
- Accuracy of information
- Relation to contest topic
- Production quality
- Overall presentation
PRIZES: Either Amazon or Apple Store gift card. 1st prize: $175, 2nd prize: $125, 3rd prize: $75. Winners will also receive HISC prize packs!
All submissions are due by February 20th, 2017. Video Clips can be submitted electronically via Dropbox by uploading them at this web address: https://www.dropbox.com/request/Zd58RaVXkjeik0erfDi5
Please include a separate document with your contact information (Name, Grade, School, Email or Phone, Video Title). **Do not include personal info in the video.
*By submitting a video, you agree to allow the Hawaii Invasive Species Council to post it on the HISAW web page and to use it for future invasive species outreach.