East Hawaii is actually
an ideal environment for these tiny creatures, which are about
the size of a nickel. So what's all the fuss about? The frogs,
also known as "coqui," are very noisy. Their call is
hard to describe, save that they were named after the sound they
make. It is high pitched, and when there are only a few of them,
it could even be described as pleasant. Hundreds of them begin
to transcend any definition of "pleasant" and the thousands
that are now appearing in many places here are so loud that in
some places it is difficult to carry on a conversation.
They have become so
common now that their presence must be reported on real estate
disclosure statements, and this is exactly why I am posting this
The presence of tree
frogs is not always reported, as it is up to the seller to fill
out the statement and of course, it is to the sellers distinct
advantage to "forget" to do so. Since the statement
only asks one to report unusual or annoying noises, a seller
to whom the din of tree frogs is music might fail to report it
So if you are looking
at real estate here, it's up to you to not only ask, but to check
for yourself! You can do this easily by simply going to the property
after sundown, better yet after about 8 PM, and listen for yourself.
If there is even only one tree frog sounding off, be assured
that it is only a matter of time. Actually, the way they are
multiplying, it is probably only a matter of time before they
What it being done to
control this matter? Not much. The County has known about the
problem for several years, but during the initial period when
something could have been done easily, the matter was in heated
dispute with environmentalists and others sympathetic to the
cause of the invaders. Now it has grown to such proportions that
eradication, according the latest reports from the County, is
impossible. We are told that the best we can hope for is to slow
further spreading and perhaps eradicate new, small, fairly isolated
populations of them. These invaders are not only a nuisance to
those of us who might otherwise enjoy a good night's sleep; they
are also a significant threat to Hawai'i's delicate ecosystem.
An example of an eradication
effort by the County is the Lava Tree Park project. A crew of
workers came in and decimated all of the beautiful tropical undergrowth
of a major portion of the park. They removed everything right
down to the dirt. Then they sprayed a citric acid solution that
is reported to kill the frogs. Trouble is, as they were cutting
and whacking, all the little froggies hopped out into the surrounding
jungle and as soon as the protective vegetation grows back, they'll
hop right back in. A night visit reveals that the frogs are still
there, although right now they are not as loud as they were before
the "war on frogs."
The frogs are spread
in many ways here, and our residents are not helping the matter.
Some, we have heard, have actually captured these "cute"
little critters and taken them home to what were at that time
frog-free areas. Another cause of the spreading are "flower
and garden" operations that routinely sell potted plants
complete with hitchhiking frogs. It is thought that hitchhiking
on imported potted plants is how they arrived here to begin with.
Wal*Mart in Hilo has had frogs in their garden shop for some
time now and they claim to be telling their employees to "pick
the frogs off of their plants," but it isn't working.
So there you have it.
The tree frogs are quiet during the day, so don't assume
a frog-free area until you've personally checked it at night.
Check nearby as well, because if they are close, they'll be around
For further info on
Hawai'i's tree frogs, type "Hawai'i tree frogs" into
your favorite search utility. You will be surprised by the amount
of data presented there. Or just click HERE for an interesting article!