Hawaii is the type of place that most people hope to retire in. The island is famous for its lush flora and fauna, not to mention the gorgeous beaches. If you are new to this island paradise, you should be aware that it’s not all roses and hibiscus here.
House pests are an issue.
Unlike most other states, Hawaii has a very tropical climate that can cause serious problems with insects of all types. These are the worst offenders to watch for.
What are the most common bugs in Hawaiian homes?
For the sake of this article, we’ll go over some obvious bugs as well as some of the more Hawaii-specific creepy crawlers you may encounter. Oh, and we’ll talk about prevention, too.
Considering that cockroaches originally lived in warmer tropical climates, this should not be surprising. Every type of roach can be found on the Hawaiian islands, including German cockroaches and Oriental roaches.
Roaches love to hide from people, only coming out at night to eat trash and food left out in the open. They are so sneaky that you often won’t find them if you look for them. They can hide in crevices like pros.
If you see a roach, you have an infestation. Call an exterminator. Want to prevent them? Don’t leave food out, clear out garbage as soon as it happens, and consider getting plants that cockroaches hate.
Roaches carry disease. Please get rid of them as soon as you find them!
2. Bed Bugs
Speaking of expert hiders, it’s time to talk about one of the biggest banes of the modern world: bed bugs. Most people recognize a case of bed bugs from their telltale “three in a row” bites…or if things get really bad, they will see these tiny bloodsuckers crawling on a mattress.
Bed bugs survive on human blood. They will hang out wherever humans hang out, but they love to hang out in areas where people sleep—especially if those places are warm, filled with fabric, and cozy.
The way bed bugs get into a home is by falling into luggage and taking a ride with you. Checking hotel mattresses for bed bugs is the easiest way to prevent this. Oh, and watch for bed bugs in used furniture, too!
In a tropical island paradise like Hawaii, there are few things that are going to be as prolific as spiders. Unfortunately, a high number of spiders in Hawaii have venom, including Southern Black Widow Spiders and Brown Widow Spiders.
Some of these spiders are fairly large, too, including wolf spiders, cane spiders, and orb-weavers. Keeping your home clean and dusting all corners of the area will help keep spiders away. Like with roaches, sealing up any cracks they could travel to can help block their entry.
PRO TIP – You may want to talk to a pest prevention company about poisonous spiders, especially if you have pets. A single black widow spider bite can kill a dog.
There’s not just one type of termite that makes its home in Hawaii. There are several species that can cause you grief, ranging from dry wood termites to flying termites, to subterranean termites. They’re all a huge threat!
Subterranean termites are one of the biggest problems hitting Hawaiian homes, causing as much as $100 million in damage per year or more. These bugs love to eat wood, but they can be harder to spot than most other termite species.
Since they are subterranean, they tend to burrow upwards until they start finding wood. They are attracted to moisture, moldy wood, and untreated wood surfaces. Treating wood outside and inside your home can help keep some away, but you may need to do more in this state.
The hot heat and humidity mean that Hawaii is going to be a veritable hotspot for mosquitos. These pests can carry diseases, not to mention the aggravating swelling that they can cause with a single itch-filled bite.
Using mosquito nets around your windows, wearing bug spray, and getting rid of standing pools of water are all you have to do in order to prevent them from making a home near your home. If you spend time outdoors, consider buying a citronella candle.
These long, slightly shiny grey bugs are pretty freaky to look at. They are fast-moving and often look like they’re swimming. That’s why they are called silverfish. These spooky creatures are a nuisance, but they do not bite or carry a disease.
Silverfish are pesky, but they’re more of a nuisance than anything else. You might find them in basements, garages, pantries, or bathrooms. They love moist areas and will nest wherever they can find some fiber to eat while they keep damp.
Keeping your home dry and sealing cracks is a smart way to prevent silverfish from infesting your area. In Hawaii, that can feel like a tall order. Thankfully, dehumidifiers are a thing and they work well.
Like most parts of the United States, house centipedes can be found in Hawaiian homes. However, it’s not just your typical “garden variety” house centipede that you have to worry about. There are other species that are far, far more fearsome.
The biggest issue that you may run into with Hawaiian centipedes is the Scolopendra subsidies. This is a massive centipede that has extremely venomous bites capable of killing mice. You can even get hospitalized from a bite.
Keeping your home properly sealed and dry helps prevent them. The same can be said about doing weekly cleanings and keeping moisture away from the area. If you notice a large, brightly-colored centipede, do not let pets near it.
8. Assassin Bugs
Seeing these bugs is a visually jarring experience, but they aren’t really a danger to people. However, they do indicate that you may have other pests to worry about. More specifically, it means you have a mouse in the house.
Once you get rid of any rodent infestation you have, the assassin bugs will vanish with them.
Hawaii is a beautiful island filled with lush, untamed forests. Unfortunately, that means that you are going to find ticks in the tall grass. Ticks will latch onto pets, wildlife, and even you. From there, they may bite you and feed on you, or they may infest your home.
Ticks are no laughing matter. They can carry serious, life-changing diseases. If you find a tick on you, remove it immediately and seek medical care if you start running a fever.
Preventing ticks near your home boils down to two major moves. First, you need to check yourself for ticks whenever you go for a hike. Second, you need to trim grass near your home so they don’t end up wandering into your house by accident.
PRO TIP – Get flea and tick prevention for your pets if you let them outdoors. If you go for frequent hikes, wear white socks and long pants. This will make it hard for ticks to latch on.
Crickets are incredibly common house pests in Hawaii. Though you may find more than one type out in Hawaii, the most common species is the flightless field cricket. These buggers can be found in basements and homes almost year-round.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to prevent these pests from being a nuisance. The only thing you really can do is to spray some pesticides around the area that are labeled for crickets. Even then, you may not have much luck.
PRO TIP – If you can, encourage local geckos to make nests in your backyard. Geckos and other lizards love to eat crickets!
If you were hoping for an island paradise that doesn’t have any bugs, we have some bad news. Hawaii is not perfect. There will be pests and prevention will have to be more aggressive than in most other states.
Thankfully, it’s possible to live a fully enjoyable life without the need for a call to a pest control company. Like with all other things in real estate, an ounce of pest prevention is worth a pound of cure.