As I begin this post about a new species of invasive ants in Hawaii, a funny childhood saying (song?) comes to mind:
Ants in your pants that make you do the hula dance!
Except these particular ants do far worse; their bite has a powerful shock-type sting that burns like fire and leaves massive swelling and redness on humans. They can even cause blindness to pets. Scary, but the “Little Fire Ants” have very much become a reoccurring problem on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Hawaii Island.
The biggest problem is, they’re so tiny that you might not even notice them. Unlike the red ants found at Magic Island, these little pests prefer to hang out in the trees. That means a sudden gust of wind could easily send a flurry of them throughout your body.
It has not yet been determined exactly where on the islands these little orange ants have infested. However, it is known that they were transported via a Hawaiian fern from a Hawaii Island plant nursery. They hitchhike easily from bag to clothing to skin, so be very careful the next time you sit down for a picnic at a Hawaii park!