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Coconut rhino beetle eradication efforts focused on Pearl City area

The Honolulu Star Advertiser

By Nina Wu 

The battle against the invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle, which destroys palms, remains focused on the Pearl City area of Oahu, according to state agriculture officials.

In the past four weeks, officials have caught 146 beetles in the Pearl City and Iroquois Point area, according to biological control section chief Darcy Oishi. This is roughly equivalent to the number captured the same time a year ago.

“In the last few months, we’ve been having particularly high beetle counts,” he said. “Some of our partners have engaged in green waste management, stepped up surveillance activities, with new information, and are more effective at finding things.”

He said progress is being made, however, in limiting the spread of the threatening beetles.

“What I’m forecasting is if we’re doing everything right, we will see a decrease in trap catchers in June or July this year,” he said.

The coconut rhinoceros beetles, native to Southeast Asia, were first detected on coconut palms Dec. 23, 2013 at a golf course at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and eradication efforts have continued to the present day.


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