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Kauai residents asked to check bins for coconut rhinoceros beetle

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  • COURTESY HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
                                Kauai residents are being asked to check their compost bins and green waste for signs of the invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle and its larvae.

    COURTESY HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

    Kauai residents are being asked to check their compost bins and green waste for signs of the invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle and its larvae.

  • COURTESY HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
                                Kauai residents are being asked to check their compost bins and green waste for signs of the invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle and its larvae.

    COURTESY HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

    Kauai residents are being asked to check their compost bins and green waste for signs of the invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle and its larvae.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is asking Kauai residents to check their compost bins and green waste for the invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle and its larvae.

Breeding grounds for the beetles include green waste, compost, mulch, trimmings, trees, and decaying stumps of palms and plants.

Two coconut rhinoceros beetles – one live and one dead — were recently found during routine surveillance near the green waste transfer station close to Lihue Airport. It was the first time the beetles, which destroy palm trees, had been found outside of Oahu.

The department said early detection of coconut rhinoceros beetle populations is key to eradication of the serious pest of palm trees, primarily coconut palms.

The state and partner agencies have mounted a response, but are asking Kauai residents to help.

“It’s critical that we catch any possible breeding areas immediately to try and stop the beetle’s spread on Kauai,” said Sharon Hurd, chairperson of the state Ag Department, in a news release. “We need everyone’s eyes to look out for possible infestation sites and to report it.”

Kauai County, meanwhile, has closed the green waste facility at the Lihue Transfer Station until further notice to assist in surveying of the area for the beetles.

Reports of possible CRB infestation should be sent to the CRB Response Team at 808-679-5244 or info@crbhawaii.org. They can also be reported to the state’s toll-free pest hotline at 808-643-PEST.

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