New Pest Poster Available
The landscape industry provides our state with more than 11,000 on-the-ground eyes and ears that can help protect Hawaiʻi from new pests. To help identify some of the most unwanted landscape and nursery pests in the United States, the University of Hawaiʻi College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) has produced a new poster. The poster contains photos and descriptions of sixteen insect pests, their host plants, and known distribution. Some of the featured pests include palm-killers like the red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) and coconut rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros), and the lobate lac scale (Paratachardina pseudolobata), which officials in Florida consider one of the most devastating pests of trees and shrubs ever introduced. New detections of these or other pests should be reported to the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture Pest Hotline at 643-PEST (643-7378). For a free copy of the poster, please contact your nearest CTAHR Extension office or email Dr. Arnold Hara at Arnold@hawaii.edu.
Saving the ʻŌhiʻa
HDOA has announced its intention to go through the formal rulemaking process to restrict the importation of Myrtaceae (myrtle) family plants, which are known to carry ʻōhiʻa rust (Puccinia psidii). One strain of ʻōhiʻa rust entered Hawaiʻi and killed virtually all of the rose apple trees statewide, and this rust was intercepted several times on cut flowers in the myrtle family. Research confirms that there are multiple strains of this rust, and the fear is that new introductions of the rust could prove devastating to ʻōhiʻa trees. HDOA will be working with CTAHR and nurseries to provide local-grown alternatives to high-risk imports. Work is also underway to look at a diagnostic tool that may be used to screen commodities like imported eucalyptus seeds for the forest industry. Your help is important! Please refrain from importing myrtle family plants, consider providing local-grown alternatives, and participate in the public meetings that will be held in each county later this year.
Christy Martin is the Public Information Officer for the statewide Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species (CGAPS), a public-private partnership working to protect Hawai‘i from invasive species.