State works on plan to combat newly-introduced pest that preys on avocado plants

An in-depth look at some of Hawaii's non-native species

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Department of Agriculture has identified a new pest in Hawaii. And the bug is attracted to avocado plants.

State entomologists say the avocado lace bug was first detected in Pearl City in December then found on the Big Island as well as plants in retail outlets on Maui.

They say the adult bugs, which are about 2 millimeters long with black heads, mostly black bodies, and a black stripe across the wings, feed on the leaves of avocado plant and leave behind damage.

Experts are working to determine effective treatment plans for different levels of infestations.

The avocado lace bug was first described in Florida in the early 1900s and has spread through the southeastern U.S. and into California. It is also found in the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Portugal. It’s not yet clear how the lace bug was introduced to Hawaii.

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