I've personally killed thousands of these things, and yes, they exploded almost overnight. I had never see one until 2006, and then the infestation occurred almost overnight.I go out every night and with a bowl of hydrated lime, get all the slugs I see. They are seasonal, appearing during the wet winter months. These horrible mollusks have spread so quickly: a few years ago, they were not on my property. Now, they have migrated from Papaya Farms Road and climb on every surface they come to: the car, the catchment tank, outdoor trashcans, rock walls, leaves... It's disgusting.
I think that part of the problem is the Ag Inspection at airports and harbors. They are so adamant about not taking things OUT of Hawaii, but ANYTHING can get INTO Hawaii: coquis, slugs, brown tree snakes. The state needs to keep up with their inspections.
Also, what about the doctors? We 'import' doctors from the mainland who know nothing about tropical diseases, and so they turn away people who have these diseases such as rat lungworm, and eventhose affected by the vog: malpractice, anyone? They don't even listen, but call you crazy, say there's nothing wrong with you, and send you home. THey've done it to my mother, and they've done it to a friend of mine: the 24-year old man from Puna who was Medivaced to Queens on Oahu because Hilo turned him away. He too is in a coma and dying.
I blame the medical teams who come to Hawaii without any study in tropical diseases; I blame the State for not paying attention to invasive species coming into Hawaii. Something needs to be done before ohter deadly critters reach our home.
As far as the doctors are concerned, I have run into the same thing myself. I recomend that everyone get a book on tropical diseases and study it before you go to Hawaii, and keep the knowledge in mind while living there. It may just save you from a world of hurt.
It also doesn't hurt to ask your doctor if they have specifically tested for Lepto or some other Common, yet poorly treated tropical disease.
I read somewhere that the USDA Ag inspectors were transferred to the Department of Homeland Security, which then subsequently cut their budget.