Date
23 July 2017
Fire ants (inset) were seen near the new Hemera housing complex in LOHAS Park. Photos: HKEJ, internet
Fire ants (inset) were seen near the new Hemera housing complex in LOHAS Park. Photos: HKEJ, internet

Fire ants strike LOHAS Park in Tseung Kwan O

Colonies of fire ants were spotted again in Tseung Kwan O district near the MTR LOHAS Park Station, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday.

More than a dozen fire ant colonies were found near phase five of the LOHAS Park project, which is less than 100 meters from the new residential complex Hemera, scheduled for move-in by the end of the year.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) said it has located four such colonies and arranged for pesticide to be sprayed in the vicinity after it was alerted by a Sai Kung district councilor on Aug. 26.

Over the last three years, the FEHD has received 16 complaints relating to the spotting of fire ants in Tseung Kwan O.

Sai Kung district councilor Christine Fong Kwok-shan said as many as a thousand fire ant colonies were spotted at a government plot in the district in March, and the Lands Department and FEHD were duly informed.

The situation was thought to be under control, but she said it is worrying that it was only a matter of months before new colonies were spotted in another area, which is near a promenade where many residents take a walk or go cycling.

Fong said Area 77 in Tseung Kwan O also reported sightings of several fire ant colonies.

The Department of Health has classified the risk of developing serious allergic reactions from fire ant stings as very low.

Under normal circumstances, bites from the insect will cause pain, itchiness and blisters on the skin, but these symptoms normally go away after 10 to 14 days.

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