HANA, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - State agriculture officials reported Thursday that they had confirmed the presence of the coffee berry borer at two locations on the Hana side of Maui, in Kipahulu, directly across the channel from Hawi.
The infestation is the first known Maui landfall for the borer, and ag personnel have been actively looking for it in West Maui and on the central plain.
Falconer, acting in advance of its arrival, cleared land closest to roads to minimize the chance of spread.
The borer has not been found on Molokai and Kauai, and on Oahu its spread appears to have been confined to limited growing areas.
The coffee berry borer is almost too small to see, and lives into beans. It can survive from year to year inside beans that fall to the ground, so an important part of controlling it is to pick up beans and other tree debris that might previously have been left on the ground.
It can also survive on the clothing and footwear of coffee workers, and on equipment used on coffee farms.
One challenge on the Big Island, the only island where the borer is widespread, is that there are small abandoned coffee tree groves, and feral coffee trees in remote locations.