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Spread of coconut beetle expands containment efforts

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 9:52 p.m. HST, Jul 9, 2014

State agricultural officials have found another beetle that eats coconut palm trees, this time in Campbell Industrial Park, triggering an expansion of efforts to contain the insect.

State officials said Wednesday the beetle, Oryctes rhinoceros, was found Monday in the industrial park outside a buffer zone set up to catch the beetle. Officials created a second buffer zone.

Officials said additional surveys for breeding sites and damage to coconut trees will be conducted, and traps will be deployed in higher density in the new zone.

The coconut rhinoceros beetle was first detected in December 2013 within Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

On May 21, a male coconut rhinoceros beetle was found in a trap at Barbers Point, prompting an expansion of the buffer zone 1 mile west for a total of 9 square miles.

State officials said the majority of coconut rhinoceros beetle detections have occurred within a 2-mile buffer zone at the golf course at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

About 540 adult beetles, 600 larvae and 16 pupae have been discovered on Oahu.

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