Coconut rhinoceros beetle now found at Barbers Point

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: May 28 2014 01:50:00 PM HST

Officials confirm that the coconut rhinoceros beetle has now been found at Barbers Point.

HONOLULU -

Inspectors have set 1,200 traps, surveyed  66 thousand trees and 150 mulch piles.
Now there is a need to do even more.

"We are in the process of hiring 32 federal employees  emergency hires to supplement our crews," said the state department of agriculture's Darcy Oishi.

The dreaded coconut rhinoceros beetle is the latest pest to plague our isles.
Now, teams have found a male in a trap closer to Campbell Industrial Park.

Click here to watch Catherine Cruz's report.

"A detection in a trap isn't as important as knowing where the breeding populations are, and so far we have not found any breeding populations off base.

But Oishi said they did have find  a second nest of beetles in a mulch site near a golf course  at Hickam.

"It is near Kuntz gate and the par 3 golf course on base. That is a significant find but we are working with joint base Pearl Harbor to take care of it.

We have surveyed all the golf courses in the area , That's a prime risk area. So mulch piles, green waste, anything with a high moisture content decaying matter, those are potential breeding sites," Oishi said.

If you have a mulch pile in your back yard just beware.  These critters have a powerful bite.

They will chew through galvanized steel and aluminum  no problem.

The beetles have been know to attack other trees like mango and papaya although coconut trees are their favorite.

"The buffer now extends from parts of UH and Waikiki all the way to barbers point so its a fairly substantive area. By the end of the week we will have over 1500 panel traps placed," said Oishi.

Oishi said back in March, a beetle was found in a trap on Mokuea Street, just blocks from the plant quarantine station.

There have been lots of calls about beetles from in town clear out to Wahiawa.  Iahi said most people have been confusing the rhino beetle with the oriental flower beetle, a much smaller beetle which doesn't have a horn.

If you think you have a problem, you can call 843-PEST.

PHOTOS: Rhino Beetle trapping

Click here to see pictures of rhino beetle traps.

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