Think About It: Oh, Rats! - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News, Weather and Sports

February 10, 2014

Think About It: Oh, Rats!

Pigs, dogs, chickens, ants, and now rats. Yes, it sounds like something out of the Bible, we just need the locusts, for the plagues are upon us as unwanted vermin roams the land. As always, the blame focuses on budget cutbacks- not enough bodies and equipment to handle the problems. And the rat problem appears to be getting worse in Waikiki, which really is not something our visitor friends come to see when they read up about our wildlife.

Whether it's the City of Honolulu or the State who is responsible for this pest problem, the local residents don't care; they just know that there aren't any answers coming forward and the problem is worsening. Four years ago, budget cutbacks reduced the vector control program personnel ranks by 70%, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. I'm not sure who thought that was a smart use of the budget knife, but the results are running around all over our islands- from feral chickens to plant rummaging pigs to marauding dogs to street savvy rats.

In Waikiki, the homeless, and schools complain about the rats. And how's this for a calming statistic- rats can mate within one day after giving birth. These guys make rabbits look like puritans. So how will this problem be dealt with? We don't need ghost-busters on O'ahu these days, but we do need critter busters and we need a plan to ensure that varmints and disease-carrying, free-roaming entities are controlled, if not eliminated. Rats, wild dogs and pigs, chickens, ants… it sounds like a bad horror movie, but it's an O'ahu reality show. Think about it…

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