New bug feasting on local produce

By Melvin Givens, Digital Editor, Digital Editor
Published On: May 16 2014 09:25:37 PM HST

State inspectors are taking a second look at a known beetle that could be turning into a bigger problem.

HONOLULU -

A new bug problem could be on the rise and it could be affecting your foods.

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The Department of Agriculture says it's getting calls every day now about beetles eating up papayas, mangos, lychee and more.

Experts believe the Oriental Flower Beetle is often to blame and is much more common than the recently introduced Coconut Rhino Beetle.

The Coconut Rhino is nearly twice the size of the flower beetle, darker, and has horns and stripes down its back.

Experts say even though May is a peak season for the Oriental Flower Beetle, they're still getting an unusually high number of calls.

"We're not sure right now. If the population is so high and complaints are so high for that beetle feeding on fruits and destroying of flowers, then I think we have to find a method to control them," said DOA Entomologist Dr. Mohsen Ramadan.

Dr. Ramadan says they are considering some bio-control methods.

In the meantime, he says they are some things you can do such as using a fungus spray, using pollen or fruit to bait and trap them or catching them with a net.

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