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My little koki

2006-09-15 2 min read Ninole House marco

Every night, when I go to bed, there is a little frog singing the praise of the land. It makes a strange sound, first a lower pitched, short vowel, followed by a much higher pitched, longer vowel, that sounds like it has the stress. Low pitch-high pitch. Sounds like ko – ki. And that’s what the little critter is called: a koki.

Unfortunately, koki can be a real pest. They are minuscule (males reach about 40 mm, or tiny), but emit this sound that can easily reach 100dB. Which is to say: really loud. They are endemic to Puerto Rico, but some idiot thought they were cute and imported them to Hawai`i. By now, there is an enormous population in the State, with deleterious consequences to B&B operations and poor chaps trying to sleep at night.

I have my own koki. Brad, the contractor dude, imported him (it’s a male, he calls at night) from his runs, and he’s been calling for months, now.

Turns out, there is an easy (though cruel) way of getting rid of them: spray them with 16% citric acid. I have seen the koki once, and it’s tiny and helpless, and only someone very cruel could kill that thing with citric acid. Or someone that hasn’t been sleeping much at night, of course. One side tells me that it’s too high up for koki to take hold, and that’s he’s going to die alone anyway. The other side says that I really don’t want to risk it. Besides (the other side says), I really can’t sleep with that yeller just twenty feet from my (glassless) bedroom window.

What to do, what to do?

You can get citric acid at all gardening stores in Hawai`i…