Hawaii had an ant problem lately as little fire ants literally rained down on people and stung them. This has changed the course of the lives of people on the island.
In interviews with SFGate, Hawaiian officials painted a horrific picture of an infestation where people were bitten in their beds while sleeping, leading to the development of painful welts that can last for weeks.
“They’re changing the way of life for our residents here in Hawaii,” Heather Forester of the University of Hawai’i’s Hawaii Ant Lab told the Gate. “You used to be able to go out hiking and go to the beach. They can rain down on people and sting them.”
“In heavily infested areas, the ants can actually move into people’s homes,” she continued. “We have a lot of reports of them stinging people while they sleep in their beds.”
Small fire ants have been discovered on the islands since 1999. However, this huge level of infestation on the island of Kauai had never been experienced before and is allegedly the largest Hawaii’s ever seen.
It seems like this began from private property and spilled over a cliff towards a lush valley near the Wailua River that provides the ants with the opportunity to float downriver and create colonies elsewhere.
If the ants enter the river, things might get worse.
“That would infest the entire state park,” KISC’s Haylin Chock told the website. “If they are at that point, they can start climbing trees. It’s like a paradise for them. If that happens, how are we supposed to know where they are?”