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Parking Lot Closure in VNP Scheduled to Fight Off LFA

January 31, 2020, 11:57 AM HST
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The Steam Vents parking lot in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will be closed Feb. 3, 2020 from 8 a.m. to noon for little fire ant treatment.

Only the Steam Vents parking lot and the trail from the parking lot to Wahinekapu (Steaming Bluff) will be closed; Wahinekapu and Crater Rim Trail will remain open. If it rains, a backup date is scheduled for Feb. 5 at the same time.

LFA detections have decreased by at least 99% at Steam Vents since the park began treating the area in February 2019. In 2018, LFA were abundant and readily observed on vegetation and along the edge of the parking lot. In September 2019, park pest control workers found LFA on just 0.1% of bait stations.

“We are making great progress, and only small, isolated LFA populations remain. Our work will continue until LFA are no longer found, and we will continue to monitor this and other high risk sites throughout the park to detect and remove newly arrived LFA before they spread,” said Park Ecologist David Benitez. “We are thankful for the public’s support, and remind visitors to help by checking their gear and vehicles for LFA before coming to the park.”

Pest control workers will treat Steam Vents every four to six weeks and the park will announce the temporary closures in news releases, on the park website, www.nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes, and via social media. The goal is to completely eliminate the ants from the area. This will be the ninth treatment cycle at Steam Vents.

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For more information on LFA, how to control them and how to prevent spreading them, visit http://www.littlefireants.com/.

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