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Fact or Fiction: Nothing Poisonous on Maui?

Maui, also known as “The Valley Isle,” is a popular destination for travelers seeking adventure and relaxation. But with the abundance of nature, comes the potential for danger.

In this article, we will explore the question of whether there is anything poisonous on Maui or if it’s just a myth.

The Truth about Poisonous Creatures on Maui


One of the most commonly feared poisonous creatures is snakes. Fortunately, there are no native snakes on Maui. The only snakes you might come across are pets or snakes that have been accidentally introduced to the island. These are usually non-venomous and pose no threat to humans.


Brown recluse spider. Not native to Maui, but sometimes spotted.

Like snakes, there are no native spiders on Maui that are poisonous to humans. However, there are a few species of spiders that are venomous, including the black widow spider, brown widow spider, and sometimes even a brown recluse spider. While brown recluse spiders are rare on the island, they have been found in shipments of goods and equipment, so it’s best to be cautious.


Maui is home to a variety of insects, but the majority of them are harmless to humans. However, there are a few that can be venomous or cause allergic reactions, including the centipede and the bee.

If you are stung by a bee, try to remove the stinger immediately (suck it out and spit out the venom, or use tweezers to grab the stinger if you can) and seek medical attention if you experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, swelling, or hives.

Marine Life

The waters surrounding Maui are home to several species of marine life, some of which can be venomous or poisonous. The most well-known of these is the box jellyfish, which can cause a painful sting. (If stung by the Hawaiian box jellyfish, treat the area by rinsing it with vinegar, removing residual stingers with tweezers, and applying heat rather than ice. [source])

In Hawaii, box jelly incidents typically occur along south-facing shores around eight days following a full moon phase. Masses of box jellies tend to remain within inshore habitats for three days.


Other creatures to be aware of include the cone snail, stonefish, and blue-ringed octopus. If you plan on swimming or snorkeling in the waters around Maui, pay attention to your surroundings and seek medical attention if you are stung, or bitten.

Poisonous Plants on Maui

Poisonous Plants on Maui

While there may be few poisonous creatures on Maui, there are several poisonous plants to be aware of. These include:


Pink oleander is a common sight on Maui. But leave it for your eyes to eat, only.

Oleander is a beautiful flowering plant that is commonly found on Maui. However, all parts of the plant are poisonous, including the leaves, flowers, and sap. Ingesting any part of the plant can cause vomiting, nausea, and even death in extreme cases.

Castor Bean Plant

The castor bean plant is another poisonous plant found on Maui. The seeds of the plant contain ricin, which is a potent toxin. Ingesting even a small amount of ricin can be deadly.

Hala Tree

Over-ripe Hala fruit on the tree.

The Hala tree is a common sight on Maui, but its fruit can be poisonous if not prepared correctly. The fruit contains oxalic acid, which can cause severe throat and mouth irritation if not washed and soaked properly.

Tips for Staying Safe on Maui

Do Your Research

Before your trip to Maui, do some research on the potential hazards you may encounter – you’re doing that right now, so good work. Familiarize yourself with the plants, animals, and insects to watch out for and learn how to avoid them. Many injuries are the result of accidents, so prepare for accidents and know what to do in the event that someone is injured while out in nature.

Wear Protective Clothing

When hiking or exploring Maui’s natural areas, wear protective clothing and footwear. Long pants, closed-toe shoes, and socks can help protect against insect bites and stings.

Use Caution in the Water

When swimming or snorkeling in Maui’s waters, be cautious and aware of your surroundings. Avoid swimming during jellyfish season and be on the lookout for signs of dangerous marine life.

Be Prepared

Pack a first aid kit with basic supplies, such as band-aids, antiseptic, and insect repellent. If you plan to go on a hike, bring plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized.


In conclusion, while Maui may not be home to many venomous creatures, there are a few to be aware of. It’s important to exercise caution and be prepared if you plan on exploring the island’s natural beauty. Additionally, there are several poisonous plants on Maui, so it’s important to be aware of them and avoid ingesting them. The risk of encountering something poisonous is relatively low, but visitors should still take precautions and be prepared. By following these tips and staying aware of potential hazards, you can enjoy all that Maui has to offer without worry.

However, with proper knowledge and precautions, there’s no need to fear. Maui is still a wonderful place to explore and enjoy, filled with natural beauty and breathtaking scenery.


Are there any poisonous snakes on Maui?

No, there are no native snakes on Maui, and any snakes that are present on the island are usually non-venomous.

What should I do if I get stung by a bee on Maui?

Remove the stinger immediately and seek medical attention if you experience difficulty breathing, swelling, or hives. Epinephrine pens would be handy to carry around if anyone suffers an allergic reaction.

Is it safe to swim in the waters around Maui?

Yes, it is safe to swim in the waters around Maui, but it’s important to be aware of and avoid contact with venomous marine life, and sharks.

Can oleander plants be found in residential areas?

Yes, oleander plants are common in residential areas and should be handled with caution.

Can the Hala tree fruit be eaten?

Yes, the Hala tree fruit can be eaten, but it must be washed and soaked properly to avoid throat and mouth irritation.

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I like to share my travel experiences and save others some time, money, and effort in planning their own adventures.

2 thoughts on “Fact or Fiction: Nothing Poisonous on Maui?”

  1. Pingback: Spiders of Maui: Bits and Bites - Maui Resources
  2. Pingback: Snakes on Maui, Hawaii? What You Need to Know - Maui Resources

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