If you live in Hawaii, you are probably familiar with mongooses. The animals were first introduced to the islands in the late 1800s in an attempt to control rat populations; instead, mongooses spread and multiplied and became an invasive species themselves. Perhaps you have a family of mongooses tearing up your yard or getting into your chicken coop and you’re wondering what can be done to remove them. Keep reading! In this article, we’ll talk about how to get rid of mongooses in Hawaii.
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Methods of Mongoose Removal in Hawaii
Mongooses are everywhere in Hawaii. Though they are not a native species, they spread rapidly and became an invasive species shortly after they were introduced to the islands.
As you can see in the video below, they appear very much at home in Hawaii and tend to wander around like they own the place.
The problem is, mongooses will feed on just about anything they can find–including rare native plant and animal species. What’s more, if you have them in your yard, you may find them getting into your garden, digging up the lawn, and chasing away birds and other animals.
So, what can you do to get rid of them?
Mongooses are not considered a protected species in Hawaii–they can be killed in any way a person decides to kill them, as long as the method is not cruel and doesn’t harm anyone or anything else in the process.
There are a variety of methods people use to remove mongooses from their properties in Hawaii. Some of these methods include:
- Live traps: Some people will use cages or other homemade traps to capture mongooses alive. They will then have them removed and humanely killed with carbon dioxide by local wildlife services.
- Kill traps: Some traps are made to kill mongooses rather than capture them. The most humane of these traps are the ones that kill the animal instantly.
- Poison bait: Sometimes people or wildlife services will draw the mongooses with poisoned bait. The mongooses will eat the bait and die from the poison in it.
- Shooting: Some people will use air guns to kill mongooses on their property. This is not recommended, however, because it is less humane; it is easy to miss your target and you may have to take several shots before the animal finally dies.
- Wildlife removal service: Some people will call wildlife services from the start rather than attempting to deal with mongooses themselves.
How to Trap Mongooses?
If you want to trap a mongoose using a live cage trap, you can set it up as you would for catching any other kind of wildlife, as shown in the video below:
If there are mongoose burrow entrances in your yard, place the trap near one of these. You may want to bait it with fresh eggs or pieces of meat, or anything else in your yard that you see mongooses eating (such as garden vegetables).
Check the trap often. Mongooses are active during the day, so this is when you’re most likely to capture a mongoose.
If you are successful at catching a mongoose, call a local wildlife control service. Mongooses are considered invasive pests in Hawaii, and they pose a threat to native species; so it is better to have them professionally and humanely killed than to release them into the wild where they may do more damage.
There are different kinds of kill traps, most of which will humanely kill the mongoose instantly. If you use one of these traps, though, keep in mind they may capture and kill more than just mongooses, and you will have to deal with the dead animals after catching them.
The best method of dealing with mongooses is to call wildlife control from the start. Many wildlife services will come out to your property, assess the severity of your mongoose problem, and use multiple traps or baits to eradicate the mongooses as efficiently and humanely as possible.
How to Keep Mongooses Out of Your Yard?
Of course, even after having the pests professionally removed, they may return. Mongooses are like rats in Hawaii; they will eat almost anything, can adapt to a variety of conditions, and have no predators in the wild.
So, once you’ve gotten rid of them, how can you keep them away?
Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this question.
One thing you can try is to put up a chicken wire fence around your yard; the openings in chicken wire should be small enough to keep most mongooses from squeezing through. That said, mongooses build burrows to live in, so they could easily burrow under your fence and into your yard.
You can keep traps set up in your yard to capture any mongooses that do find their way inside. Of course, this may attract other animals into the trap, so you may find yourself catching and releasing a lot of non-harmful animals in your efforts to keep mongooses away.
Another option is to keep poison bait in strategic locations around your yard; this will have the dual benefit of keeping both rats and mongooses away. Keep in mind, though, that other animals in your yard (including pets) may eat the poison and die from it.
As you can see, there are various methods of keeping mongooses away from your property, but there are pros and cons to each of them. What’s more, none of them are entirely effective.
Still, if you are serious about getting rid of mongooses and keeping them away, these are all methods you can try.
Is it Legal to Own a Mongoose in Hawaii?
Perhaps you may be reluctant to kill a mongoose yourself, or even to live trap one knowing that it will be killed. So maybe you’re wondering: could you simply keep it as a pet?
Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding no.
It is illegal to keep mongooses in Hawaii unless you have a permit to do so, and in Kauai and Lanai, permits are not issued under any circumstances. Even in other parts of Hawaii, you would be hard-pressed to be able to get a permit for a wild mongoose that you catch.
Fines for keeping a mongoose without a permit can be as much as $1,000.
Though it is not required that you report sightings on Oahu, Maui, or Molokai, it is still best to call a wildlife control service if you are trying to rid the animals from your property. Do not attempt to keep them as pets.
Mongooses are an invasive, non-native species in Hawaii. There are various ways you can get rid of them if they are taking over your yard, such as trapping, poisoning, and putting up a fence to keep them out.
The best way to get rid of them humanely and efficiently is to call a professional wildlife removal service.