Kauai residents asked to check compost piles for signs of an invasive pest

Coconut Rhinoceros Beetles have been found on Kauai and the public is being asked to help with...
Coconut Rhinoceros Beetles have been found on Kauai and the public is being asked to help with detection efforts.(Kauai CRB Flyer, photos of CRB adult and larvae)
Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 4:52 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After the recent discover of an invasive pest on the Garden Isle, Kauai residents are being asked to check their compost piles and green waste.

Agriculture officials want residents to report any signs of the coconut rhinoceros beetle or its larvae. They say early detection of the pest is key to eradication as they pose a threat to palms and coconut trees.

Officials say the best breeding grounds for the beetle are trees, green waste, compost, mulch, trimmings, fruit and vegetation scraps and decaying stumps of palm and palm-related plants.

A beetle was first found on Kauai alive in a trap near the Lihue Airport on May 31. Nearby a second one, this time dead, was located. Both were identified to be females, officials said.

“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 Hawai’i Department of Agriculture. “We need everyone’s eyes to look out for possible infestation sites and to report it.”

Personnel have been sent to Kauai to work on eradication efforts. Green waste fumigation equipment is also being sent if infestations are found.

For the time being, Kauai County has closed the green waste facility at the Lihue Transfer Station until further notice.

Additional traps and steps will be taken on Kauai to detect and fight the beetles.

If you come across the insects, you’re asked to call the CRB Response Team at (808) 679-5244 or email info@crbhawaii.org or the state’s toll-free Pest Hotline at (808) 643-PEST (7378).