Eradication Efforts Making Progress Against Fire Ants
Direct from Donovan…Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz
We had a follow-up meeting Oct. 13 on the little fire ants (LFA) matter to update the Mililani Mauka community on eradication efforts in the infested area.
The state Department of Agriculture, along with Hawaii Ant Lab and Oahu Invasive Species Committee, started treatments Aug. 6-7 and Sept. 17-19 to infested areas, bordered by Kopalani Street, Meheu Street, Lehiwa Drive and Auina Street. Treatments have shown positive results, with areas having reduced or eliminated LFA. A total of eight treatments will be applied, with completion slated for May 2015.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has developed an instructional video for homeowners, who are encouraged to test for LFA in their yards and around their homes. You can watch the video, How to test for Little Fire Ant, by logging on to vimeo.com/97558997.
LFA are 1/16 of an inch long, orange-red in color and slow-moving. They nest in moist, shady areas, in trees, under tree bark, under rocks, and within logs and leaf litter. If you think you might have LFA on your property or in your home, please call the Department of Agriculture statewide Pest Hotline at 643-7378.
Do not disturb the ants or attempt to control or treat the area. This may make the nests difficult to find and possibly spread them further.
Since the treatments are showing positive results, I ask that the community continue to check their properties and homes on a regular basis. Quarantine and test any new plants, cut flowers and plant materials, such as soil and mulch. People in all areas of the island need to be on the watch, as we never know where LFA may be found next.
First Responders Technology Complex We continue to work on making Central Oahu the new home for emergency responders, which includes sheriffs, police, firefighters and paramedics. Planned for a site at Mililani Tech Park, it would make sense to have this built in the middle of the island, out of the inundation zone, close to military bases and an airfield. This complex would allow first responders the opportunity to centralize operations, expand and/or upgrade their facilities or establish a headquarters.
In addition, the state Office of Information Management and Technology has discussed the need to upgrade its data center facilities. The current conditions of our data centers are not fulfilling their capacity, reliability and security needs of the various departments. A new data center will provide the security needed to prevent breaches that may expose confidential information about our citizens.
Thus far, the state has appropriated more than $11 million toward this effort. The facility would be built on 150 acres acquired from Castle & Cooke.
Contact state Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz, D-District 22 (Wahiawa-Whitmore-Mililani Mauka) at 586-6090 or email him at sendelacruz@capitol. hawaii.gov.