Ask the Mayor: Are There Coqui Frogs in Wailuku?
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his staff.
Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at [email protected], 270-7855 or mail them to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.
Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.
Q: A friend who lives in Wailuku Heights has been telling me that he hears coqui frogs nearby.
I was surprised to hear the coqui had been found in Central Maui. We have heard about them in the Ha‘ikū area but I didn’t realize they had traveled all the way to Wailuku. I guess I had been hoping they were contained to Maliko. Do you know if they are actually in Wailuku now, or is my friend just hearing things that sound like the frogs?
Do you know if they are actually in Wailuku now, or is my friend just hearing things that sound like the frogs?
A: Your friend is correct: a Maui Invasive Species Committee (MISC) crew has controlled several coqui in Wailuku Heights, including one just last week. Please have your friend call MISC at (808) 573-6471 if he or she hears a coqui in the evening.
Seeing a frog means it’s often a greenhouse frog, which means it is a common, widespread pest that presents less of a threat. People typically hear coqui but don’t see them.
When reporting coqui, the more information given the better; such as precise location, time of day, and if possible, flagging or photographing the tree or plant. To learn how to hand catch or spray the frog yourself, MISC offers tips on its website and offers citric acid (a food additive used to control the frogs) to the community free of charge.
According to MISC, the coqui infestation in Ha‘ikū is to the point that coqui are being moved on cars more and more frequently. However, the situation in Wailuku Heights shows how important it is for a community to work together to help stop the spread of coqui to new areas.