Mongooses are considered to be invasive wildlife, introduced to the Islands in 1885. According to the Hawaii Invasive Species Council, mongooses, native to India, were brought to Oahu, Maui, and Molokai with the intent of protecting sugar cane fields against destructive rats. The plan ended up having much more negative implications to our environment than anticipated. Today, mongooses harm local wildlife, targeting endangered birds and their eggs, reptiles, fruit, vegetation, turtles and their eggs, rodents, insects, snakes, and other small animals. Many endangered and at risk animals fall victim to mongoose hunting, which is why most consider them to do more harm than good.
Mongooses are ferret-like animals that measure 26 inches long with a brown coat and a long, hairy tail. Although they look like big rodents, mongooses are more closely related to meerkats. They can live year-round in the Hawaiian climate, surviving in almost any environment, including your back yard. Many homeowners spot mongooses running around their lawn, especially if there are ground nesting birds on your property.
Why are there mongooses in my yard?
Mongooses live in tunnels underground, but can also be found hanging out in hollow trees and on the ground during the day. They’re diurnal which is why you may spot one running around your garden. They aren’t especially picky eaters and can survive in harsh conditions. Did you know that mongooses have adapted to be able to fight venomous and vicious snakes? Their successful predatory nature allows them to attack and eat whatever they’d like. If you have chickens, birds, snakes, rodents, or edible vegetation on your property, mongooses can survive. Without a steady food source, mongooses will leave.
How can I prevent mongooses from living on my property?
Mongoose prevention can be complex and not always effective. The best way to stop mongoose activity in your yard is to make the environment unappealing to their survival. Remove or protect potential food sources. Cover vegetable gardens with mesh or other materials that mongooses cannot penetrate. If you have chicken coops, also be sure to cover them to avoid mongooses stealing their eggs and even killing smaller chickens.
How can I get rid of mongooses?
The best way to get rid of mongooses is by trap and release methods. Because mongooses are unpredictable and somewhat dangerous, it’s not recommended that trapping should be done without the intervention of wildlife control specialists. Although mongooses do not typically attack humans, they do have the capability to spread rabies with a single bite. Contact Sandwich Isle, your local wildlife control professionals, for mongoose removal services.