August 19, 2002
The Department of Health has been collecting data from mice
trappings conducted statewide that indicate control efforts have been
effective in a number of identified problem areas. While these results
appear to be positive, the Department plans to continue sampling and
closely monitoring areas statewide.
Health Director Bruce Anderson said, "The numbers of mice in most
areas has declined or leveled off. However, there is still concern
about the significant increase of mice in the Kihei/Wailea area on the
island of Maui, this is where the majority of murine typhus cases have
been reported. The Department has made these areas a priority and will
continue increased control efforts while sustaining our monitoring of
Samples of mice collected using special baited "tin cat" traps
indicate that with the increased use of rodenticides, the numbers of
mice trapped in the Wailea area near Kihei have been declining. Using
20 traps set overnight, the average number of mice trapped in Wailea
this year in June, July and August was 56, 29 and 36, respectively.
Last year, the average number of trappings was 7, 2, and 4 during the
In Keonekai in Kihei on Maui, this year the average number of mice
trapped in June, July and August was 19, 31 and 49, respectively. Last
year, the average number of mice trapped was 6, 2 and 0 during the same
months. The Department has limited use of rodenticides in this area due
to product use restrictions.
The Department’s Maui District Health Office continues to work
with large landowners on Maui to increase the use of rodenticides,
which appear to have been effective in the Wailea area. The Health
Department is also seeking an exemption through the State Department of
Agriculture from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to increase
of use of the rodenticide Zinc Phosphide in areas currently where use
is restricted by federal authority.
Dr. Lorrin Pang, Maui District Health Administrator said, "The
County and community have come forward in so many ways to help control
the increase in mice. We’ve been able to combine our resources to
come together and work toward solutions."
The Department has been closely monitoring the number of murine
typhus cases statewide. Today, the total number of cases this year is
13, with 1 case on Kauai, 1 case on Oahu and 11 cases on Maui. On Maui,
8 cases are in Kihei, 1 in Kahului, 1 in Wailuku, and 1 in Lahaina. The
cases had their illness onset between March and July 2002 and all have
On the Big Island, samplings of mice trapped appear to have leveled
off in the Waikoloa and Kohala Estate areas, declined in the Maunakea
Resort area, and increased in the Kawaihae Village and Anekoa/Kanehoa
areas. With its vast open land areas, data collected on the Big Island
is expected to fluctuate.
On the island of Kauai, the number of mice trapped in Waimea has
been declining and data indicates significant problems areas identified
earlier in June are under control.
On Oahu, the mice population indicated by trapping numbers has not
raised concern; the Department continues to closely monitor the Leeward
parts of the island to identify any trends.
# # #