Rodents aren’t native to Hawaii. Westerners brought species like the roof rat and the Norway rat to the island, while the Polynesian rat appeared on the island about 900 years ago. The lack of natural predators has allowed rodents to thrive on the island. Rodents have become an ecological problem and represent a health risk to humans. They threaten agriculture by chewing through crops and pose a health risk since they carry many diseases that are harmful to humans. Transmission of diseases typically occurs through droppings and urine. Rodents eat very frequently, resulting in a large amount of excrement that can be strewn around your home. A rodent infestation can also result in damages to your home.
What kind of rodents live in Honolulu?
There are four types of rodents that you’re most likely to encounter in Hawaii: Polynesian rats (also known as Pacific rat), roof rats, Norway rats, and the standard house mouse. Each rodent has distinct traits and habits to be aware of.
The Polynesian or Pacific rat is the smallest rodent species found in Hawaii. These rats are typically under five-inches long. They’re easy to recognize with their large, round ears and their pointed snouts. They can have black or brown fur. Known as a field rat, you are more apt to see them making nests in rock piles, gulches, wastelands, and grassy mounds. Human made structures aren’t typically susceptible to Polynesian rat damage and activity, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Usually, they are more of an agricultural nuisance, attacking various fruit and vegetable crops such as pineapples, coffee, coconuts, and macadamia nuts.
The roof rat, also called black rat or house rat, is the biggest threat to homes and buildings. These agile climbers can scale walls to access cracks and other points of entry. Roof rats are seven-inches long on average and have a slim tail that is longer than their body. They have a long, slender body and a pointed nose. While they are primarily fruit eaters, many roof rats can be found in garbage dumps and trash cans when faced with an urban environment. Roof rats have the capability to cause the most damage to homes and businesses because of their strong teeth and determined will to find shelter and food at all costs. Small openings around your home can be destroyed and widened by constant gnawing. Once large holes in your home exist, roof rats, among other rodents and pests can enter and cause additional damage.
Also known as a brown or street rat, the Norway rat has brown, bristly fur, small eyes, and ears, and their tails are shorter than the length of their body. They are the biggest rats found in Hawaii with an average body length of ten inches. These rats love to burrow and can be found in the ground, under concrete, in sewers, and at garbage dumps. They will eat just about anything they can find. Norway rats will also cause damage like roof rats do, getting into homes and leaving droppings and urine behind.
The standard house mouse is a pesky little rodent, giving birth to up to a dozen babies every three weeks. They can chew through your walls and electrical wires, and are good at jumping, climbing, and swimming. They vary in color, are relatively small, and usually have a pointed nose, large round ears, and a long and hairy tail. Mice carry many diseases and are attracted to human food. If they make their way into your pantry or kitchen, house mice will chew through penetrable packages such as cereal boxes, sugar kept in paper bags, and other sugary snacks.
How to Tell if You Have a Rodent Infestation
Sometimes it’s easy to spot a rodent infestation in your house, as one goes skittering across the kitchen floor, rifling through your garbage, or popping in and out of burrows around your property. Other times, they hide, and you would never know you had a problem until you come across droppings.
Droppings from rodents can have a curved, straight, or pointy shape. Smaller ¼” droppings typically indicate a mouse infestation, while ¾” droppings are a common sign of a rat problem. If you can’t find live rodents, this is an easy way to rule out different rodents.
Rodents have strong teeth and constantly gnaw through things such as food items that aren’t in air-tight containers. Chew marks around the packaging are the most obvious sign that rodents are feeding. Another sign of rodent activity is frayed wiring. Rodents chew through cables and wiring, creating fire hazards and short circuiting live electronics around your home.
Rats in particular create large holes when they find a potential entry point into your home, garage, or shed. If a small hole exists, rats can spend time widening the hole with their strong teeth. Once the hole is wide enough, they’ll enter and begin destroying your belongings.
Unlike rats, mice are small and can fit through gaps as small as a dime. Cracks in the foundation of your home, torn screens, garage doors that are left open, and other small spaces around your home can lead rodents in. Mice follow air currents that flow in and out of your home to find the holes, entering very quickly and reproducing.
How can I prevent a rodent infestation?
If you live in Honolulu, it’s paramount that you prevent rodents before they become a problem. Try these helpful tips on your own to prevent rats and mice:
- Seal holes and cracks around your home.
- Fix or replace window and door screens with holes and tears.
- Clean up to prevent exposure to harmful diseases through urine or droppings.
- Eliminate the rodents’ food source.
- Pick up or throw away fallen fruit around your property.
- Empty pet food and water bowls daily. If the bowls are outside, bring them in at night.
- Move food into air-tight containers.
Don’t assume that a rodent infestation will go away if you only find one mouse or if you catch a rat. Rodents are fast breeders and can quickly overrun your home. While it is essential to take preventative measures to protect your home against rodents, we always recommended that you contact Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions, your local pest and rodent control company.
How can Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions get rid of rodents in my home?
At Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions, we have created a proven multi-zone method to eliminate rat infestations from your property and help prevent future outbreaks.
Zone 1: Perimeter Protection. The first, and most overlooked, step when fending off rodents is to create a line of defense. Our team will place rodent bait stations around your property to reduce the rodent population in the area.
Zone 2: Habitat Management. Next, our team will evaluate your property and identify potential areas where rats may be nesting. These areas typically consist of trash collection areas, storage bins, vegetation and gardens. We will proceed to place further bait stations in these locations to clear out possible hiding spots.
Zone 3: Entry Exclusion. Finally, after careful inspection of your property, our technicians will identify and exclude all accessible rodent entry points. Bait stations may also be placed in these areas to prevent rats from returning to their familiar routes.
For rats inside your home, our trained technicians will deploy a customized removal approach to eliminate the invaders and reclaim your property.
Give us a call or fill out the contact form on this page for a rodent inspection at your home!