According to the state Department of Agriculture, Little Fire Ants were traced back to hapu'u (Hawaiian tree fern) shipments at Lowe's and Home Depot on Maui. Department officials are asking that any Maui resident who purchased hapu'u from either store over the last 12 months to check their fern and the area where it is located for ants.
The best way to do this is to apply peanut butter to a chopstick and push the stick into the fern or the ground nearby. If you see ants on the chopstick, place the chopstick in a plastic bag and put the bag in your freezer. Then call the DOA and an inspector will be sent to your residence for further investigation and if need be, treatment to rid the area of ants.
The LFA is no more than 1/16 of an inch in length and should not be confused with the larger, tropical fire ant that has already established itself on Maui. Call the DOA on Maui at 872-3848 or contact the Maui Invasive Species Committee at 457-6472.