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Thousands Of Mice Run Amok

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When it comes to animals, Maui, Hawaii is mostly known for whale watching and shark sightings. But a new potential mascot is throwing its hat into the ring: the modest field mouse.

The Valley Isle, as its known, has recently come under attack due to a "major mouse infestation." "They're in people's homes, their yards, even hospitals aren't immune," says Hawaii News Now, which adds that thousands -- yes, thousands -- of dead field mice are littering the Honoapiilani Highway on the island's west side.

The "fluttering dots," Maui Now noted, initially looked to drivers like "plumeria flowers scattered across the road."

As to the cause of the infestation?

Apparently Maui saw something similar more than a decade ago. Heavy spring rains in the fields resulted in large mice populations, according to Maui Now, but when the fields dried up, the mice headed towards "golf courses or residential and hotel areas" in search of water.

Maui District Health Officer Doctor Lorrin Pang said that, in the past, the deluge of dead rodents looked like wallpaper on the roads. Residents, he said, "kept running over mice day and night, and then the sun would dry them out, and it was like wallpaper."

While at the moment the problem is only a curious nuisance, health officials are on alert since mice can carry fleas and bacterial diseases such as typhus.

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Maui Officials Worry about Mouse Infestation