Review Category : Invasive Species

Featured Pest: The Spiraling Whitefly (Aleurodicus dispersus)

 Hosts: Recorded on 38 genera of plants from 27 plant families and over 100 different species. Common on vegetables, ornamental, fruit and shade tree crops in Hawaii, including avocado, banana, bird-or-paradise, breadfruit, citrus, coconut, eggplant, kamani, Indian banyan, macadamia, mango, palm, paperbark, papaya, pepper, pikake, plumeria, poinsettia, rose, sea grape, ti, and tropical almond. Distribution: Native to Central American and the Caribbean region.  First reported in Hawaii in 1978 and now present on all of the major islands. Damage:  a) Direct – damage caused by piercing and sucking of sap from foliage.  Majority of feeding done during the first three nymphal stages.  Usually insufficient to kill plants. b) Indirect – damage due to accumulated honeydew and white, waxy flocculent material.  The honeydew serves as a substrate for sooty mold, which blackens the leaf and decreases photosynthesis and plant vigor, and can cause disfigurement.  The flocculent material is spread by the wind and can create an unsightly nuisance. c) Virus transmission – damage from virus transmission can be considerable.  These viruses cause over 40... ...

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Doing Our Part To Plant Pono

It used to be that the Hawaiian ecosystems with the highest diversity of plant species were moist and wet forests.  Today, the highest plant diversity can be found in our yards and botanical gardens, and the number of plant species introduced to Hawaii grows each year.  Although the vast majority of Earth’s 250,000+ plant species would not be invasive if imported and grown in our islands, a small percentage would be superweeds that alter the ecosystem or natural resources.  Plants are not checked for their potential to become invasive when they are imported, and our noxious seed and weed rules regulate less than 100 species of plants, most of which are already present in Hawai‘i. Now, there is a new website that can help everyone make informed plant choices.  Plant Pono ( provides planting information on non-invasive ornamental plants (pono plants), to help you select the right plant for your yard.  These pono plants were selected by noted horticulturist Heidi Bornhorst, and were screened by the Hawaii-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment... ...

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Lobate Lac Scale

Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has requested that the green waste generated from pruning or removing a Lobate Lac Scale (LLS) infested plant be left at the site where it originated to reduce the risk of spreading this pest around Oahu. For example, chipped green waste from a tree can be left as mulch under the tree that was pruned. Smaller green waste, like hibiscus branches, can be bagged in dark plastic and left in the sun in an out-of-the-way corner of the property for a few days. The heat generated in the bag will hopefully be sufficient to “cook” the LLS. Leaving any of the green waste out in the sun for a month or so would probably work as well. Unfortunately, research on the life cycle of LLS and how long the different stages last doesn’t exist, so this is just a best guess. It is certainly better than doing nothing. LLS is sufficiently established on Oahu to be impossible to eradicate, but landscape professionals are the first... ...

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