Rats frequently become infected with RLW. Field studies on Hawaii Island showed greater than 90% of rat populations infected, and having high levels of parasites in their skat. Rats commonly have multiple snail exposures essentially becoming infectious for life. As a consequence rats are called “amplifier hosts,” – greatly increasing the risk of disease spread, and need to be part of intervention strategies.
Rats’ lungs host the first stage of parasite incubation. The larvae is then passed through the rat feces, and the slugs that travel over the rat feces ingest and carry the third stage larvae, which become infectious to humans.
Breaking the cycle that supports the maturing parasite is crucial. The parasite is not visible so to get an upper hand on controlling the spread of the parasite calls for a war on rat feces – minimizing and eradicating rats, along with slugs and snails.
You cannot contract this disease by coming in contact with rats or rat feces.
However, because of the many other diseases rats can carry, do NOT handle carcass without gloves, place in sealed plastic bag, and dispose in trash containers with lid firmly closed.
Use appropriate traps to kill rats. Rats use high trees to nest and as a highway route to their nighttime destinations. Try securing your traps in tree branches out of reach or dogs/pets, right in the rat’s route. If you need rat traps please contact us, we have several different types that we will provide for free.
Protect pets from accidentally ingesting rat poisons by placing bait in tubes and secured in places pets cannot access. Avoid using bait that is attractive to birds.
Please keep a tally of how many rats you have successfully killed and note method and locations. We will be using this data for future vector control plans.