Residents on Maui say they’re being overwhelmed by mosquitoes.
“Lately, we get loaded mosquitoes at our place,” said Sally Keaneni. “All over, we get them. Up country, downtown, where we work and stuff.”
“Lately, my experience is we’ve been having a lot of it. I’d say, last couple of days. I’m thinking it’s related to lack of trades, but I’m not really sure. We’ve had a lot of rain in the last couple of months. We’ve had a lot of water pooling throughout. That’s prime breeding grounds for them,” added Makawao resident Maile Masada.
Marmac Ace Hardware store told KHON2 it’s ordered extra supplies to combat mosquitoes.
“I just think it’s going to get worse as the weeks go on. Right now it’s the beginning of the problem we have. I had people coming in from Costco right down the road over here saying you just walk out of Costco and there’s mosquitoes all over the place,” said owner David Mars.
We contacted Peter Oshiro with the Department of Health. Oshiro says the state is aware of the issue.
The problem pests are called culex mosquitoes, which come out at night. The state does not know what’s causing the increase in pests.
“We really don’t know the reason why. We haven’t investigated into it. The Department of Health, typically, because of lack of resources, does not go out and investigate slight upticks in mosquito populations, even when the public complains about it,” said Oshiro.
Culex mosquitoes can carry the West Nile virus, but Oshiro says residents should not be alarmed.
“Our message to the public is this is not a public health concern. Mosquito populations throughout the state will go up and down depending on conditions,” he said “At most, they will be a nuisance to them.”
The Department of Health suggested residents drain open containers, hose down plants that collect water and get rid of standing water around the house to keep mosquitoes away.