Officials Warn Stinging Fire Ants Are Raining Down On Hawaiian Island

Just when you thought it was safe to go back on vacation again, there is an unexpected danger that is raining down from above on a Hawaiian island.

The warning is clear, as officials are saying that an over-infestation of fire ants is causing this unique problem.

Photo: Flickr/calamity_sal License: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

Millions of those ants are now invading the eastern part of Kauai Island, located just north of Lihue. They are invading the Wailua River State Park, and if you plan on visiting the area, you should be aware of this unexpected danger.

According to the officials in Hawaii, the ants are “falling from the sky” because they don’t have the ability to hold on to the plants and trees where they may be climbing. If you happen to be walking in one of those areas, you may have the unfortunate experience of having those ants “rain down” on you and sting you.

Photo: Flickr/ Forest and Kim Starr License: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

Although fire ants have been a problem on this island in the past, it seems as if this is the largest that has ever been seen. According to a statement put out by the Hawaii governor’s office, it can have some negative effects on the area.

“LFA (Little Fire Ants) can produce painful stings and large red welts and may cause blindness in pets,” the statement explained. It went on to report that the fire ants can build up in large quantities on the ground and in vegetation, including trees. They can even overrun a property, invading homes and buildings.

Photo: PXHERE

Like many problem species, these ants are an invasive species. They are native to South America and although they are small, being only about 1/16 inch long, they are full of trouble. You can recognize them by their light brown or orange color.

Some efforts to stop the infestation are underway, including providing test kits to those who live on the island so they can detect the ants when they show up. After being collected and sent to the invasive species committee on the island, they can be identified and further steps can be taken.

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