Coffee Berry Borer (From Hawaii Gov. web)

One of the most devastating coffee pests, the coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei),has been found in several coffee farms in Kona.

The coffee berry borer is a small beetle and is native to Central Africa and is also found in many coffee growing regions of the world, including Central and South America.

The beetle bores into the coffee "cherry" to lay its eggs. The larvae feed on the coffee bean, reducing the yield and quality of the bean. Because the larvae are inside the bean, it makes it difficult to control by pesticides.

Elsie Burbano from the University of Hawaii at Ma¯noa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (UH-CTAHR), collected the beetles from several farms in Kona and dropped off samples to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture on September 2nd.

The identification of coffee bean borer beetle was confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture entomology laboratory in Riverdale, MD. HDOA entomologists from Honolulu and Hawaii Island are organizing surveys on all islands to determine the extent of the infestation; however, early indications are that the beetle is established from Kainaliu to Honaunau on the west coast of Hawaii Island.

Discussions with coffee growers this week indicate that the beetle may have been present for more than a year, but was only reported last week. It is not known how the coffee berry borer was introduced to Hawaii.

Hawaii has strict importation rules that require quarantine fumigation of all imported green coffee beans to rid the beans of pathogens and insect pests. Coffee plants and plant parts are also restricted from being imported to Hawaii under Plant Quarantine rules.

It appears that this pest has been here for several years and may be well established in some growing areas in South Kona. Staff from the HDOA and the UH-CTAHR have already begun to investigate various control methods, including biological control which involves finding natural enemies of this beetle.





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