4 Jan 2019

Fire ant awareness programme launched in American Samoa

1:40 pm on 4 January 2019

People in American Samoa have been asked to report any sightings of a new pest which was recently found in the territory, the little fire ant.

Little fire ants in Hawaii.

Little fire ants in Hawaii. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Department of Agriculture and the local Community College have teamed up to spread awareness of the fire ants.

A documentary of how the fire ants sting people and damage crops and native species in Hawaii and Tahiti is now airing on local TV.

Entomologist Mark Schmaedick said the ants were discovered on Tafeta but it's hoped their spread to other parts of the island will be stopped.

He said the ants were very hard to control but Hawai'i had some success with a type of bait which American Samoa wants to use instead of spraying.

"We actually have a bait product in which it's a food that is attracted to the ant and then the pesticide is mixed in with that.

"The ants come out and collect the food, they carry it back to the nest, they share it with the rest of the colony and that is a very effective way to kill and control these kinds of ants," he said.

  • Samoa worried about little fire ants