KAILUA-KONA >> Some Big Island coffee farmers are embarking on an effort to fight bugs with bugs. They’re raising an army of defenders to prey on one of the most devastating coffee pests.
West Hawaii Today reports that farmers are fighting the coffee berry borers. Those are the tiny insects that cause damage by boring and depositing eggs into the berry. When the larvae hatch they feed on the bean and destroy it.
Farmers are raising the small and familiar Flat Bark Beetles which are known to attack other beetle species. They’re raising them in kits filled with cracked corn and cornmeal to expand the population.
The war will likely begin in a few months when participating coffee farmers begin releasing the bugs on their properties.