Coffee Beetle Spreads in Hawaii

A destructive species of coffee beetle is spreading in the Hawaiian Islands, threating the health of coffee farms and plantations across the state.
At first glance, the coffee borer beetles would seem harmless. The insect is tiny, about the size of a sesame seed. However, the tiny insects bore into coffee berries in order to lay their eggs, a process the renders the coffee bean worthless and can do significant damage to coffee crops.
Coffee borer beetles are native to Angola. They initially spread across Africa in the 1920s, spread to Brazil in the 30s and by the 70s and 80s were discovered from Colombia to Mexico. The beetle was first discovered in US territory in 2007 when they were found in Puerto Rico, and were discovered in Hawaii in 2010.
Despite containment efforts by the Hawaiian government, the beetle appears to be spreading from Kona (a district on the western coast of the Big Island) to Hilo (on the far eastern coast).
So far, the infestation appears limited to the Big Island. State agriculture experts are working to contain the infestation and control it where it has already appeared.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer