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Invasive beetle found on Kauai for first time

COURTESY HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
                                The invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle has been found for the first time on Kauai.
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COURTESY HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

The invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle has been found for the first time on Kauai.

COURTESY HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
                                A coconut rhinoceros beetle trap.
2/2
Swipe or click to see more

COURTESY HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

A coconut rhinoceros beetle trap.

COURTESY HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
                                The invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle has been found for the first time on Kauai.
COURTESY HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
                                A coconut rhinoceros beetle trap.

The invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle has been found on Kauai for the first time.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture confirmed two beetles were recently found in separate traps near a green waste transfer station by Lihue airport. These are also the first time the beetles — which destroy palm trees — have been detected outside of Oahu.

One was found alive on May 31, and another one dead on June 2.

The state is mounting a response to eradicate them with partner agencies, including the Kauai Invasive Species Committee and U.S. Department of Agriculture, among others.

Four members of an Oahu response team are being deployed to Kauai this week to assist.

In addition to conducting visual surveys within a one-mile buffer zone of the detection sites, additional traps will be set up at 26 priority sites, with cameras and ultraviolet traps.

Tissue samples of the beetles found on Kauai will be analyzed by the University of Hawaii to try and trace their origin.

Fumigation of green waste, which provides an optimal breeding environment for the beetles, at the transfer station is possible.

The state may also deploy coconut rhinoceros beetle detection dogs after the initial surveys.

Report possible CRB infestations to the response team at 808-679-5244 or the state’s toll-free Pest Hotline at 808-643-PEST.

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