Colonies of fire ants were spotted again in Tseung Kwan O, eight years after they were last seen in the district, prompting fears among local residents who said a sting from the species could be life-threatening, Apple Daily reported on Tuesday.
Sai Kung district councilor Chan Kai-wai said he received complaints about the reappearance of the red imported fire ants (RIFA) back in February in a vacant government plot opposite the Park Central residential complex.
It is the same government plot where RIFA was first found in 2007, Chan added.
By April and May, more and more RIFA colonies were seen in the area, with their movements extending to a plot near the Ocean Shores residential complex.
Chan estimated there could be up to 1,000 RIFA colonies in the area.
He said he has filed complaints with various government departments, and the case is now being handled by the Lands Department, which conducted a pest control exercise in the area in April.
Chan said when he visited the site recently, there were still about 200 RIFA colonies in the area.
He warned of the danger the ants could pose to residents living in the area, noting that only wire fences separate the colonies from bike trails and pedestrian lanes.
As there are about 1,000 households living in Ocean Shores and Park Central, the risks posed by the RIFA colonies cannot be underestimated, Chan said.
The Lands Department said pest control exercises were conducted in late April and late May, and another round has been scheduled for mid-July.
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