State, military on alert after invasive beetles found on base

Building coconut rhinoceros beetle bucket traps (U.S. Navy photo by Denise Emsley, NAVFAC Hawaii Public Affairs/Released)

State and military officials are ramping up efforts to get rid of the coconut rhinoceros beetle on Oahu.

Four breeding areas were found in mulch piles on the Mamala Bay Golf Course on Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam. Officials have been grinding the compost piles twice on site using a special tub grinder to destroy the beetles.

A total of 119 adult beetles, more than 250 larvae and 16 pupae have been found. More than 300 traps have been deployed in a two-mile radius, and thousands of surveys have been conducted by state and federal personnel in search of the beetle.

The coconut rhinoceros beetle is a high-profile invasive species that can destroy coconut and other palm trees. It’s not known how the beetles got to Oahu.

If you spot a coconut rhinoceros beetle, call the state pest hotline at 643-7378 (643-PEST).

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