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Molokai Still Coqui and Little Fire Ant Free

MoMISC News Release

We hope everyone has heard of, read about or maybe even experienced first-hand, the impacts that coqui frogs and little fire ants (LFA) have had across our state. Maybe you know a farmer who has lost crops due to LFA infestation, or travelled to an area where the distinct and noisy call of coqui frog was heard from dusk to dawn? Perhaps you’ve seen stories in the media? Whatever your experience with these species, we at the Molokai/Maui Invasive Species Committee (MoMISC) know that the introduction of either species would be devastating on Molokai.

Little fire ant is nearly impossible to exterminate once introduced and established at a new site. LFA are not only a nuisance, they also pack a potent and painful sting known to cause harm to pets, wildlife and humans. When compared to the common and widely dispersed tropical fire ant, LFA are much smaller and slower moving. Little fire ant and coqui frogs, if not intercepted and controlled immediately, can be very difficult to eradicate once a population is established.

To date, LFA has not yet been detected on Molokai and MoMISC has intercepted and controlled individual coqui frogs. There are currently no known populations of coqui frog on the island. This success would not be possible without the maka’ala and swift action of Molokai residents.

We’ve updated our website with more resources and information on both species including instructions for surveying and testing suspicious ants. Mahalo, Molokai! Let’s keep up the good work! For more information on LFA, coqui and other invasive species, check out our website at momisc.org — or to report a pest, please call (808) 336-0625 or email us at molokaiinvasive@gmail.com.

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