A tiny pest is threatening to cause big problems on Hawaii Island

Updated: Aug. 1, 2018 at 8:44 PM HST
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BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - A fairly new pest is making its presence known on Hawaii Island's east side.

Cacao Farmers of Hawaii and the Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC) is warning farmers of the Longhorn Beetle, which poses a major threat to tree-related agriculture businesses.

The insect has been seen throughout parts of Puna, specifically Kurtistown, Orchidland, Hawaiian Acres, Hawaiian Paradise Park and a single sighting in Pahoa, Cacao Farmers of Hawaii said.

The beetle is believed to have been accidentally introduced from Australia. They first arrived in Hawaii about a decade ago, according to the BIISC, but are only now becoming a prominent problem in wider areas.

The pests are so concerning, that the East Hawaii Cacao Association is offering a $20 reward for the first 10 beetles caught, and turned in alive.

Those captured beetles will be used by the USDA to develop a pheromone attractant.

The creatures tend to live, nest and feed in wooden surroundings.

Anyone who sees the beetles are asked to report them to the University of Hawaii Department of Agriculture at 808-974-4146 or the East Hawaii Cacao Association at 808-345-0594.

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