Unfortunately, you’re not the only creature that wants to live in paradise. There are a variety of rodents in Hawaii that love the islands just as much as you and are searching for the perfect properties to inhabit. Rats and rodents can cause extensive damage to your home or business, so learning a little bit about what kinds you might have to protect your property from and how they operate is crucial. Rodents cause thousands in property damage every year, but there are things you can do to help rid yourself of pesky rodents.
Rodents in Hawaii
Rodents cause more than property damage. They can also cause direct or indirect harm to humans through diseases that they may carry. Rodents and rats in Hawaii can carry diseases like leptospirosis, murine typhus, and salmonellosis. They also harber parasites like lice, fleas, mites, and more.
Because rats breed year round in Hawaii, they’re a constant threat to your property. Rats can produce about 20 offspring each year with litters of up to 8 pups. Their gestation period is just about three weeks and the young can begin breeding at just 3 months old. This means that a singular rat problem can turn into an infestation very quickly.
Rats are scavengers and can travel hundreds of feet from their burrows to find food and water. They use sinks, toilets, rain puddles, and condensation as water sources and find food in your home or fruit from trees outside. They can even feast on dog droppings in your yard. Burrows often grow as more rats are born which results in a network of tunnels underground.
Rodents on Oahu
There are three common types of rodents on Oahu and they’re all species of rats.
Perhaps the most common and most destructive rodent on Oahu is the roof rat. These rodents are excellent climbers and are often found in high up places like attics, roofs, and cabinets. Their bodies are around seven inches long with a tail slightly longer than that. Roof rats each mostly fruit and can be found across Hawaii both in places of dense vegetation and residential areas.
The largest of the rodents on Oahu, the Norway rat can measure up to almost 10 inches long. These rats prefer to live in the lower levels of homes and businesses. They build nests from grass or paper that they’ve gathered. They are also excellent swimmers.
The smallest of the rats in Hawaii is the Polynesian rat. It measures about five inches long and can weigh up to three ounces. As this tiny rodent prefers to make its home in gulches, wastelands, or rock piles, it is unlikely to be found near homes and businesses.
Rats operate at night and that’s when they’re likely to gain access to your home. To do so, they’ll gnaw holes just two inches wide to get into your home. They build burrows along foundations or beneath shrubbery and trash. But what are some clear signs of a rat infestation and how do you address it?
Rodents in Hawaii are searching for places to call home and it could very well be that your home is the best fit. You can determine you have a rat infestation through the following signs:
- Droppings – Just like mice, rats will leave droppings around typically in concentrated areas.
- Tail tracks – Rats leave tail tracks when they move. If you suspect you have rats in your home, sprinkle powder or flour along their assumed route and see if tracks show up.
- Gnaw marks – Rats must gnaw to get access to things whether it be food, your home, or trash can. Keep a lookout for this rat calling card.
Keeping rodents out of your home is a better course of action than trying to get rid of them. While sometimes it’s impossible to ensure you won’t have a rat problem, there are some things you can do to try and keep them away.
- Store food in air-tight containers that are harder to get into.
- Repair leaky and broken pipes.
- Secure trash can lids.
- Seal all cracks, gaps, and other possible points of entry around the exterior of your home or business.
If you do end up with an infestation of rodents on Oahu, let the professionals help. We’ve been helping people handle their rodent problems for more than 20 years and understand what it takes to help create a pest-free environment. Contact us today to learn more.