Navy unveils new tool to combat invasive beetles in Hawaii - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Navy unveils new tool to combat invasive beetles in Hawaii

Air Curtain Burner Air Curtain Burner
Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle

The Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle continues to spread across Oahu, and now the Navy is using a new tool to try to rid the islands of the invasive species.

The beetles were first discovered in a trap at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam last December. Since then, the insects have destroyed about 100 palm trees on the base.

A new tool called an Air Curtain Burner may help officials eradicate the beetle.

"It's basically an incinerator that we use to burn the plant waste that is accumulated on base," said LTJG Eric Galassi, Navy Region Hawaii.

"This plant waste can become nesting material for the rhinoceros beetle. If it's infested or if it could potentially become infested, we want to burn it so that we can prevent the beetle from creating new nests and from spreading off base."

The Navy has one Air Curtan Burner, but they say several more are in production and will arrive on Oahu in a few months.

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