Fire! Little Fire Ants in Hawaii (2016)

Follow-up documentary to: Invasion – Little Fire Ants in Hawai’i …

First introduced to Puna in 1999, and shortly thereafter to Kauai, these ants are one of the worst invasive species imaginable in Hawaii. They invade houses, gardens, and forests. The ants are also arboreal; they swarm up plants and trees. When disturbed, they drop off, falling onto people and animals. Unsuspecting victims are left with painful stings.
Until recently, little fire ants were limited primarily to Hawaii Island but as infestations have grown there, so has inevitability of their spread.

In January of 2014 little fire ants were detected on Oahu, leading to a multi-agency response resulting in containment and eradication. These tiny pests have hitchhiked to Maui and Lanai as well. Meanwhile Hawaii Island residents are faced with creating sanctuaries amidst a sea of stinging ants.

This 30 minute documentary examines the spread of the little fire ant and the people who work to address one of the most significant invasive species problems confronting the Islands. learn more at

Funding support for this video was provided in part by the Hawaii Invasive Species Council and the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit of the University of Hawaii-Manoa.



  1. Just got home from Maui and I have bites all over my body which I now believe are from LFA. I was staying at the Papakea Resort in Lahaina and I was smoking in the designated area on the property to the left of the lobby and I think they fell from the trees or i stepped on a mound on my last night there. This is miserable! Makes me glad I live in a place where the air hurts my face 9 months of the year. Father Winter sends all the bugs back to hell where they belong!! 😆

  2. I suspect that my apartment in Aiea has LFA. They're tiny, red, and they're swarming. I find them in my worm bin, around my plants, and strangely in my glass of water all the time. I'll leave a glass of water on my desk, and after a few hours i'll find maybe 15 to 30 dead in the water or crawling around my glass. I'm planning on doing the peanut butter test tomorrow to send in a sample.

  3. Small fire ants?
    I have a colony in my yard of regular fire ants.
    I don't kill them because I sit outside a lot
    Gives me entertainment
    A multi lane highway going back and fourth with loot
    Sometimes I get stung, yesterday I grabbed a wet piece of paper and there was a bunch under it.
    They wait until they gang up then all bite at once

  4. Yeah fire ants are probably impossible to stop. Hawaii seems like an environment for them to thrive in. They're everywhere here in Texas and I'm deathly allergic to them lol

  5. Who the Hell puts an Ag Burn ban in the midst of this disaster ? Our firemen go to the mainland to learn how to fight invasive species with fire yet return to Hawaii to watch the mulch spreading to every corner of the island. People not in Hawaii shake their heads in disbelief at this . Now the poisons are seeping into our ocean at all the beach parks . Terrific job county and state of Hawaii ! We should sue you for ruining our Aina sun farms and property values !

  6. You guys need to be seriously looking into the CRISP R gene editing techniques for the ability to completely eradicate these little monsters (mosquitos and Albizias, too)  from Hawaii once and for all.  CRISP R IS NOT GMO as most people think of GMO since it is NOT interspecies (for instance, GMO soybeans that may contain weed, starfish, and housecat genes);  it normally uses only the genetic material in place already in the organism, and just removes a bit of genetic material needed for reproduction, or growth, or feeding, or making an exoskeleton, or even just the ability to sting (which could make it easy prey for birds and other predators);  it would allow the same type of eradication as "Tango" gel bait, but without use of any chemicals.  Make the little fire ants, Albizias, mosquitos and other pests sterile, then they just fade away.  The use of a "drive" gene makes the sterility, whatever,  spread faster.Hawaii is unique in the world in that we know that the "web" of life, the whole of nature, was doing just fine here before the introduction of these species – and we know WHEN the pests arrived – so nobody can make the ridiculous claim that these pests fill some niche (for instance, in some parts of the world, mosquitos are a food source for pollinating bats, and fish, birds, etc. – NOT THE CASE IN HAWAII) and should therefore not be killed.CRISP R is inexpensive (especially compared to Insect Growth Regulator materials, and also compared to economic losses which will probably be in the BILLIONS OF DOLLARS) – and it is well proven by now that it can be made to easily work – and it can be tailored simply to only those species that need to be impacted.DO IT.  START NOW.BEFORE IT GETS WORSE.


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