Rental Car Infestation in Kauai

Trip to Kauai, Hawaii

Kauai is the fourth largest island in Hawaii and is known best for its amazing sights all around the island. My favorite things about visiting Kauai were definitely the views you get to see during the sunset and during hikes. You can see what I’m talking about below; these views are even more amazing in person!


But as with any other Hawaiian Island, it’s hard to get around unless you drive a car. We made sure to reserve a car rental before we arrived in Kauai.

Renting a Car

As usual during our travels, my wife and I try to use Turo whenever we can. Turo is a car sharing service that allows you to rent other peoples cars. Our trip to Kauai was no different. While travelling to the Hawaiian Islands, it’s really difficult to get around unless you have a vehicle.

We flew into Lihue Airport in Kauai. Conveniently, our rental car host left the car nearby with the keys in the car. We walked to the pickup point and as we approached the car, it started to rain.

As soon as I opened the car door, I noticed something move inside the cabin. I shined a light with my phone and quickly saw there was a small cockroach running away from me. Something else moved out of the corner of my eye and I saw one or two more scurry away. At this point, I was like “Oh hell naw…” and started thinking about how to ditch the rental car.

So here we are with our luggage and faced with a decision to either enter the car or to take off. Unfortunately, the rain started getting heavier. Now, I don’t know what my wife was thinking exactly (or why getting wet in the rain was freaking her out), but she yelled at me to get ourselves and the luggage into the car. Perhaps she was worried about getting wet, maybe she didn’t want the luggage to get wet, heck I have no idea what she thought. But I ended up throwing the luggage into the back we jumped into the driver and passenger seat.

We sat there thinking what we should do, but it was getting late. We decided to just tough it out, drive somewhere to get something to eat, and go check into the hotel. We can deal with the rental car and host afterwards.

Since we were already starving at this point (even though I lost some of my appetite by this point), we stopped by Hamura Saimin which wasn’t far from the airport. We had some pretty decent saimin (noodle soup) here and strategized our plan of action. Amidst all of this, I was messaging with the Turo host letting her know of what we had encountered.

After filling our stomachs with some food and talking over what we should do, we decided it’d be best to just go to the hotel at this point. On the way however, we stopped by the local Walmart and picked up some cockroach bait traps. If for some reason the host didn’t get back to us or wasn’t willing to work with us on resolving this, then the least we could do is to eradicate these bugs.

We checked into our hotel, and I opened up three of these Zoro Zoro cockroach traps and placed the little bait packet within the cardboard foldout.

I placed one in the trunk, and two within the cabin: one on the floor in the front, and one on the floor in the back.

After setting these traps, I closed the doors and the trunk. I locked the car and left the vehicle to sit overnight…

Opening Up the Cockroach Traps

I got up the next morning with both the feeling of concern and excitement. I was worried about what I might find, but at the same time I was really curious about what I might find in those traps.

I checked my phone and received a few messages back from the car owner. She informed me that when she dropped off the vehicle, the car was clean and did not see any cockroaches. I continued to tell her that there are definitely cockroaches and that I would take pictures to send her. She seemed insistent that there shouldn’t be an issue, even going so far as writing “cockroaches” every time she wrote the word. It was almost as if she was saying ‘these so called cockroaches’. Nonetheless, she asked for the photos so that she could take appropriate action.

WARNING: If the thought of seeing cockroaches repulses you, I wouldn’t recommend looking at the following photos.

I went out to the car with high anticipation. I started by opening the trunk. I picked up the trap and opened it. Just a few small roaches. Okay…

I then open the doors to the cabin and grab the two cockroach traps from the front and back seats. Already, I can tell something was up because when I went to pick them up, I could feel some significant weight to them. I opened them up and found the motherlode.


I took these photos and sent them to the host who immediately apologetic and said she would pick up the vehicle. She also fully refunded me the money and showed me proof that she addressed the issue.

Getting cockroaches in your rental car does seem to be a rare occurrence, but it does seem to be a bit more common in some locations. After doing a bit of reading online, it seems Kauai does experience more of this problem than others.

If I ever do rent a car again in a place known for having a cockroach problem, you can bet I’ll be buying and setting these traps again to put my mind at ease.

Scott enjoys fixing and improving cars, motorcycles, and his home in his spare time. He does his best to transcribe his journey as he navigates across unknown territory, finds himself in peculiar predicaments, and figures out how things work in the process.

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