Land Critters, Hawaii (Big Island)
Wherever there is foliage and flowers you will find bugs. Mosquitos and Ticks in particular are the nasty critters you want to be wary of. My wife and I always travel with bug repellent (OFF) so we don't go home with any bug bites as souvenirs.
My main complaint about Hawaii is the big bugs - the grossest? Cockroaches. Yuck. The closer you are to the water the more likely you'll see them. They wander around like they own the place! Keep the doors closed so they don't wander in that way. Also there are big flying bugs in the evening.
Lyme Disease - Caused by a bacteria which is transmitted to animals or humans through a bite from an infected tick. The CDC has reported that the tick that carries the Lyme Disease is found in 48 of the 50 states, Hawaii is one of them.
It is said that in about 50% of humans infected there is a characteristic rash or lesion called erythema migrans which is seen and which will occur about a few days to a few weeks after being infected. Around the same time flu-like symptoms may also develop with headaches, sore throat, stiff neck, fever, muscle aches and pains, fatigue and general malaise.
If left untreated the symptoms may disappear, but more serious health issues may appear months or years later. Neurological or severe joint pain are among the main health problems.
The bacteria can be treated with a serious of antibiotics which should be taken for about three weeks. This is a serious disease and once you are diagnosed your doctor is obligated to report it to the CDC. The CDC may contact you to find out more details of the location of your bite.
During my trip to The Big Island, I must have been bitten by one of these ticks. I never had the characteristic rash, but after having severe knee pains for what seemed like months, I had my doctor run a series of blood work which included the test for Lyme. Much to both of our surprise I was diagnosed with this disease. I was treated with three weeks of heavy antibiotics.
As of this writing, I do not exhibit any signs of lingering Lyme disease according to my doctor and should be cured.
My advice, PLEASE PLEASE wear BUG REPELLENT, you just never know where or when you can be bitten.
For more informaton about Lyme Disease or the Deer Tick that carries the bacteria, check out
Well, at the end of the Island where the Volcanoes National Park is, there are not suposed to be any cockroaches because of the elevation. However, people bring them in from other parts of the island (by addicent), and we saw a BIG one at our B&B.
Big "lawn cockroaches" on the Islands, as our B&B host called them (I'm from NY and we just call them disgusting). Yup, the really big kind, are prevalent.
Also, ask about air conditioning if this is important to you. Many places do not have it and it's very hot.
Nene geese signs are to be seen all around the Hawaii Volcanoes Park. Seeing the geese themselves is more problemmatic. The geese are one of the few remaining endemic bird species left.
Rats originally came in with the first sailors and ran wild in the islands. Birds had never had predators before and were not prepared to protect their eggs from the rats. One idea to fight the rats, was to introduce the Indian mongoose to the islands, to eat the rats. The only problem with that was that the rats were nocturnal and the mongoose was diurnal. As a result, both the mongoose and the rats ate up the bird eggs, killing off many species found only in Hawaii.
We saw a sign like this everywhere that we stopped in Volcano National Park. We never did see a Nene though.