What Are The Rodents Of Hawaii?

Rodents are probably not a topic anyone really wants to talk about, unless it is their particular field of study, but here in Hawaii, rodents are something every home or business owner has to deal with eventually. It is important to at least know a little bit about these dirty foragers. Here are some of the common rodents you may come in contact with on your Hawaii property.

Norway Rat

Most commonly found in urban areas, the Norway rat is known by many names, including the brown rat, common rat, street rat, sewer rat, Hanover rat, brown Norway rat, Norwegian rat, or wharf rat. They are large rats, up to 10 inches in body length, with a tail of about the same length. These rats have coarse fur, large ears that are hairless, and a scaly tail. Typically, they are brown or dark gray with some black hairs. The color of their undersides are pale gray to grayish-brown. Originally from China, this rodent now exists on all continents except Antarctica, and has become a dangerous invader here in Hawaii. Females can have up to 12 litters a year which usually contain around 7 babies, but there can be as many as 22 young in a single litter!

Roof Rat

Roof rats range from black to dark brown in color and measure up to 18 inches in length, which includes their tail. They are slender, weigh about 5 to 9 ounces and have large ears that are almost completely hairless. Roof rats, as you may guess, often get onto roofs and into attic spaces but, outside, they build their nests in trees, woodpiles, debris, and areas of dense vegetation. Like other rodents that get into homes, roof rats can spread disease, sometimes directly contaminating food with their urine or feces, or even by biting people. And, like other rodents, they can also transmit disease via the parasites they carry, such as mites, lice, ticks, fleas or worms.

Polynesian Rat

These rats came to Hawaii centuries ago in, what may come as no surprise given their name, Polynesian canoes. Also referred to as Pacific rats, these rats are the third most widespread species of rat in the world, behind the brown rat and the black rat. They are similar in appearance to other rats, with large, round, mostly hairless ears, a pointed snout, brown or black fur and a lighter colored belly. They are long and thin, around 6 inches long (not including their tail). The Polynesian rat is smaller than other human-associated rats. Interestingly, their size varies depending on the size of the island they are found on. The smaller the island, the smaller the rats.

House Mouse

These tiny creatures have small, rounded ears, a long naked or almost hairless tail, and a pointed snout. Although the house mouse is a wild animal, they mostly live in association with humans, as their name suggests. These are also the mice that have been domesticated to be pet mice and laboratory mice. House mice, like rats, are capable of introducing diseases into homes and, as all other rodents, never stop chewing to wear down their ever-growing incisors. When they chew on wires, these little creatures can cause a fire.

If you need help controlling rodents on your Hawaii property, reach out to Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions. Our team of highly trained professionals knows what is needed to control these pests safely and effectively.