Kona Hawaii Pest Control – Beetle Infestations
In past years, the Big Island has experienced two particular beetle infestations to a greater degree than the other islands. These two beetles are the coffee berry borer and the longhorn beetle.
The Coffee Berry Borer (CBB), first found in 2010 in Kona is an economically destructive pest to the coffee industry because of the damage it wreaks on coffee beans. The CBB is just what its name entails: A beetle that bores into immature and mature coffee beans, makes little galleries in the beans where it lays its eggs, and then the larvae feed on the coffee seed and go through stages of maturity until they finally emerge and begin the cycle again. Sounds kind of like the powder post beetle that does the same thing to wood.
Our coffee farmers are spending lots on trying to eliminate the CBB challenges. Somehow, the CBB managed to make its way to Oahu in 2014 and on to Maui in 2016. Quarantines and interisland imports of coffee-related plants and equipment are in place to help the situation. So far, no CBB infestation has been reported from Kauai Coffee, the largest coffee plantation in all of the United States. With the exception of Kauai Coffee, the Big Island is home to a majority of the rest of the coffee grown here.
We talked about the longhorn beetle in an earlier blog. To summarize, the longhorns are a huge danger to the cacao industry on the Big Island. These beetles like the hard wood of the cacao tree, breadfruit trees, koa, and kukui. As with the CBB, the larvae of the longhorns cause the most damage as they tunnel through the hardwood and weaken it. Known areas of infestation of longhorn beetles include Pahoa, Hawaiian Acres, Orchidland, Keaau, and Kurtistown. No other islands have confirmed longhorn beetles.
The majority of Hawaii’s cacao industry grows on the Big Island. The industry is still growing, but the longhorn beetle infestation is certainly not helping our farmers.
Experts are able to determine the regions of origin of these pests, but not exactly how they make their way to our islands. Our Hawaiian Islands have strict import rules via air and sea, but somehow things keep getting through. Newly introduced pest infestations can inflict great damage to our economy, our industries, our environment, and our individual subsistence. Let’s all do our parts to help eliminate new pest infestations to our islands. Remind our traveling friends and family not to bring in restricted items to our islands; and let’s do the same.