This invasive grey squirrel was spotted in Kelowna City Park last weekend. With no funding allocated to deal with the species, the population will continue to grow, says a TRU researcher. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

This invasive grey squirrel was spotted in Kelowna City Park last weekend. With no funding allocated to deal with the species, the population will continue to grow, says a TRU researcher. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Letter: Kelowna’s squirrels, meet Hawaiian rats

Kelowna letter-writer says Hawaii is dealing with an invasive problem of its own

To the editor:

Pretty scary to read in one of your earlier editions how the invasive Eastern grey squirrels are taking over our Valley and have damaged hazelnut and walnut crops already.

People may have noticed when they visit the Hawaiian islands how aluminum metal has been applied to the trunks of the palm trees to keep the rats from climbing up to chew on the coconuts which can be pretty dangerous should one come down and land on a person’s head below. The rats arrived to the islands via the sailing ships and pretty soon were most unwelcome pests.

The solution the Islanders came up with was to bring in mongoose to get rid of the rats. Only one sex was to be brought in so these little predators couldn’t breed. Oops – mistakes were made and pretty soon there were mongooses everywhere. As well as still the rats. The persons in charge of this idea didn’t realize mongooses are out in the daytime and the rats at night; hence, they miss each other!

Wonder if mesh or aluminum could be applied to our nut trees here. Lita Prince

Lita Prince, West Kelowna

, 2235 Somerset Road. West Kelowna, B.C. V1Z2K9 250 769 3650