Maui News

Interim rule issued to slow the spread of the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle on Oʻahu

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Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle. File photo courtesy, Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture.

The Hawai`i Department of Agriculture this week issued an interim rule restricting the movement of coconut rhinoceros beetle host material within the island of Oʻahu and from Oʻahu to neighbor islands.

CBR host material includes, but is not limited to: entire trees, green waste, compost, mulch, trimmings, fruit and vegetative scraps and decaying stumps of palm and palm-related plants. The interim rule is effective today, Friday, July 1, 2022.

In November 2020, the Chairperson of the Hawaiʻi Board of Agriculture issued another interim rule designating the Island of O`ahu as an area infested by CRB (Oryctes rhinoceros).

CRB is a serious pest of palm trees, primarily coconut palms, as the adult beetles bore into the crowns of the palms to feed on the tree’s sap. New unopened fronds are damaged in this way and when fully opened, may break and fall unexpectedly.

If CRB kill or damage the growing point of the palm, the tree may die. Secondary fungal or bacterial pathogens may also attack the wounds caused by CRB, thereby killing the tree as well. Tree mortality after CRB attack has been reported to be anywhere from 10% to 50%. Dead trees then become a safety hazard as they may fall unexpectedly after the trunk rots, potentially resulting in bodily injury or property damage.  

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CRB was first detected in Hawai`i in Dec. 2013 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and has since been detected in West Oʻahu, from Māʻili to Pearl City and north to Kunia. Infestations have also been detected on the North Shore from Mokuleʻia to Kahuku. More than 3,000 CRB traps have been deployed around Oʻahu to detect infestations. There have been no detections of CRB on islands other than Oʻahu. 

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To help slow the spread of the invasive beetle on Oʻahu and to neighbor islands, the interim rule will restrict the movement or transportation of CRB host material within the island of Oʻahu and from a CRB-infested area to an area that is uninfested, except as approved by the HDOA.  For additional detail about the restrictions, the interim rule may be found at: 

If you need assistance or have questions about the requirements or if you believe you may have a possible CRB infestation, please contact the CRB response at 808-679-5244 or email [email protected] 

For more information on CRB go to CRB Response webpage: https://www.crbhawaii.org/

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Or the HDOA Plant Pest Control Branch New Pest Advisory: https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/files/2013/01/npa-CRB-5-1-14.pdf

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