Little Fire Ant Eradication; Dyslexia Workshops

Direct from Donovan …Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz


In recent weeks, there has been much information disseminated on the little fire ants (LFAs) that have invaded parts of Oahu, but some residents are still unsure of what to look for. Hawaii Invasive Species Council has provided the following information:

LFAs were first discovered in Waimanalo and more recently in Mililani Mauka. Efforts are underway to eliminate the ants because once they become established, there is little hope of eradication. The ants would become the state’s most devastating pest, and we stand to lose much of our agriculture industry and biodiversity. We will lose our ability to grow our own food, enjoy our yards and hike through the forest. Throughout the Pacific, LFAs have overwhelmed communities.

The Department of Agriculture and Hawaii Ant Lab have worked with property owners in Mililani Mauka to obtain consent to treat LFAs on their properties. Treatment began Aug. 7, with the Mililani Town Association cutting access trails for treatment.

Don’t confuse LFAs with the much bigger tropical fire ant that has been around for decades. LFAs are 1/16th of an inch, not aggressive and move very slowly, but stings will produce large welts on the neck, arms or torso when trapped under clothing or in hair. They usually fall on people from above. Besides being a serious nuisance to humans, this ant has been known to attack the eyes of domestic animals and blind them.

LFAs do not build mounded dirt nests but nest in a variety of habitats including trees, around potted plants, under leaf litter, rocks, pieces of bark, irrigation lines and in electrical boxes. On Hawaii island they have been found in clothes, furniture, bedding and food.

We need to be vigilant. LFAs are in Hawaii, but are not yet widespread. Report LFAs to your local invasive species committee at Report-a-Pest, or call 643-PEST (7378) if you suspect that you may have them in your yard.

We will have another meeting in October as a follow up to the meeting we had last month on LFAs. We will publish the information when a date and place have been decided.


Dyslexia is a lifelong learning disability people are born with that affects about 15 percent of Americans in all socioeconomic and ethnic groups. There have been effective strategies to help children, teenagers and adults overcome struggles at school or in the workplace.

The Hawaii branch of International Dyslexia Association is collaborating with Wayland Baptist University (WBU) by offering three reading disabilities workshops Saturday mornings in September and October on WBU campus at 95-1091 Ainamakua Drive in Mililani Mauka. The Reading Disabilities Workshops are scheduled as follows:

* When Children Struggle To Read, Sept. 6, 9-11 a.m.

An overview of language-based reading difficulties, how these affect learning and what kind of teaching and intervention works best for learners with language-based reading difficulties.

* Dyslexia Simulations (Interactive Workshop), Sept. 20, 9-11:30 a.m.

Participants will rotate through six learning stations with simple activities designed to give a hands-on awareness of what dyslexic persons experience every day.

* Help/Support For Struggling Readers (An Overview), Oct. 4, 9-11 a.m.

Community experts will share and discuss information about help and support for struggling readers including strategies, tips and resources.

For more information, call Margaret Higa at 538-7007 or email . You may register by visiting

Call Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz at 586-6090 or email sendelacruz@capitol.hawai