Friday, July 26, 2019


New extension agent to expand efforts to combat little fire ants on Hawai‘i Island
Captain Cook, Hawaii – The Hawai‘i Ant Lab, which was established to address the invasive Little Fire Ant (Wasmannia Auropunctata), has hired a new West Hawai‘i extension agent, Kiyoshi Adachi. Adachi previously worked for the Hawai‘i Ant Lab in Hilo as their senior research associate, and as a Pest Control Technician for the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture.

State Representative Nicole Lowen (D-North Kona) secured the funds for the new position during the 2018 legislative session.

“With the spread of fire ant populations in West Hawai‘i, we needed someone on the ground here to meet the growing needs of the West Hawai‘i community. Kiyoshi is the ideal person for this job because he has the needed expertise and experience, and he also understands how to work effectively with local residents and businesses,” said Representative Lowen.

Casper Vanderwoude, Research Manager at Hawai‘i Ant Lab, said "with Kiyoshi on board the Hawai‘i Ant Lab will have a much-improved capacity to reach out to residents, the farming community, and businesses in West Hawai‘i, and to respond to requests for help. Kiyoshi is passionate about protecting the Big Island’s natural resources and lifestyle from invasive species. We are extremely grateful to Rep. Lowen and to the Legislature for their work in securing this funding to expand our services."

Adachi was born and raised on the Hamakua Coast of Hawai‘i Island and is a graduate of Laupahoehoe High School.

"I am happy to be back at Hawaii Ant Lab and am looking forward to helping the people of West Hawai‘i to control and eradicate these invasive fire ants, and to helping farmers mitigate impacts on agriculture," said Adachi. "As a lifelong resident of Hawai‘i Island, I know how important this work is to preserving our way of life for future generations.”

The Hawai‘i Ant Lab West Hawai‘i extension office is currently located in the University of Hawai‘i's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Extension Center in Captain Cook, at 79-7381 Old Mamalahoa Highway, Room #12. The office phone number is (808) 209-9014.  More information about controlling the little fire ant is available at

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