If you are noticing tiny ants that pack a powerful long-lasting sting invading your Hawaiian property you are not alone. Little fire ants are tiny non-native invaders that have taken over the eastern side of the Hawaii Island and if people are not vigilant they will soon spread and cause damage to other parts of Hawaii as well. These ants will rain down from trees on windy days to sting the neck, arms, and torso of adults and children. Little fire ants are doing their best to take over Hawaii, so we have to work together to do our best to stop them!
Little fire ants will not only deliver a painful sting to you and/or your pets they are responsible for blinding animals, killing seabirds, young turtles, insects, and will destroy agricultural areas and make it impossible for farmers to work safely and effectively. Little fire ants are a very tiny species of ant; adults only grow to be about 1/16th of an inch in length- for comparison that is about half the size of a sesame seed). They are yellowish-red in color and are slow moving. Little fire ants nest under piles of leaves, rocks, fallen trees, or pieces of bark; however when there are heavy rains they may try and move their nests to the inside of trees or inside of homes and other buildings
When living and foraging for food outdoors they feed on dead arthropods, honey-dew secreting insects, small animals, and other insects. When they come into a home they feed on oily foods in the kitchen and especially like peanut butter. Inside of houses little fire ants infest clothing, beds, and furniture and can be found traveling along baseboards and underneath carpets.
Preventing these ants is tricky business, but they can be deterred by making some changes around your home and property. Tips to keep little fire ants away include:
Removing and eliminating piles of debris, leaves, rocks, and other organic materials from your property.
Be sure to create a space between your home’s foundation and any grass or mulch.
Keep outdoor trash cans away from the exterior of your home and keep them closed with tight fitting lids.
Seal any cracks or crevices, even the very tiny ones, in your home’s foundation and caulk any gaps around exterior windows and doors, and install door sweeps.
Store food in the refrigerator instead of out in the open on counters or tables.
Regularly remove garbage from your home.
Call for help from the professionals here at Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions at the first sign of little fire ants on or near your property.
Eliminating little fire ants is quite difficult on your own. This is our job. We can keep you and your loved ones safe from little fire ants and other pests and wildlife. By working together to eliminate these non-native invading ants, we can help to control and reduce their spread throughout Hawaii!