by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The University of Guam has confirmed that the little fire ant has been found on Guam. the Wasmannia auropunctata made its way to the island and officials are now trying to determine the extent of the infestation. UOG entomologist Dr. Ross Miller says the Australian government spent over $12 million in attempts to eradicate an infestation in Cairns and Brisbane.
Guam Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Eradication Project staff found the ant at Primos Northern Hardfill for organic materials in Yigo. Miller says the ant can potentially turn an area into an ecological wasteland and ants stinging en masse can cause persistent, intense itching and a rash.
UOG scientists are working with Russ Campbell, Guam's territorial entomologist, to mount a campaign to contain this latest invasive species to land on Guam. Ant samples may also be taken to Dr. Campbell's office at the Plant Inspection Station on Tiyan. His number is 472-5812 extension 15.
Miller may be contacted at UOG at 735-2141.