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CTAHR Cooperative Extension Service

Invasive Species and Pest Control

termiteHawai‘i’s physical isolation has created unique ecosystems, flora, and fauna coupled with its year round favorable growing conditions have made Hawai‘i extremely susceptible to invasion by undesirable plants, arthropods, vertebrates, microorganisms, and other invasive species. Invasive species have been described as “the single greatest threat to Hawai‘i’s economy and natural environment and to the health and lifestyle of Hawai‘i’s people”. Invasive species already cause millions of dollars in crop losses, the extinction of native species, and the destruction of native forests. Many more pests such as the red imported fire ant, sand and biting flies, the brown tree snake, and many more could seriously affect Hawai‘i’s natural resources, agriculture, tourist industry, and quality of life forever.

Despite federal and state quarantine regulations, about 20 new species become established in Hawai‘i every year and many more intercepted in various imported products. Although most of them cause little problem, enough of them cause sufficient problems that cause a significant impact in Hawai‘i. Some of the recent invaders that have made an obvious impact on Hawai‘i’s environment and/or economy are the coqui frog, Erythrina gall wasp, Asperisporium black spot of papaya, and nettle caterpillar. CTAHR is actively involved in all aspects of invasive species.

Banana Bunch Top
Banana bunchy top is a virus disease of bananas that are spread by the banana aphid. It is a serious threat to banana production in Hawai‘i.

Coffee Berry Borer
Coffee Berry Borer (CBB) is a serious, worldwide pest of coffee. The beetle lives within and feeds on the coffee bean, and on the pulp surrounding the bean (the cherry). CBB was first found in Hawai‘i south of Kailua-Kona in late 2010.

Coqui Frog management
Learn about the coqui frog problem in Hawai‘i and what is being done to control this pest.

Hawai‘i Fruit Fly program
Integrated control program for controlling the several species of fruit flies found in Hawai‘i with very low impact to environment.

Hawai‘i Pesticide Information Retrieval System
The Hawai‘i Pesticide Information Retrieval System (HPIRS) database contains information pertaining to pesticides currently licensed for distribution and sale in Hawai‘i and is provided for informational purposes only. Searches can be made by crop to see what pesticides are registered or by pesticide to see which crops a pesticide can be used on. Always read and follow label instructions on the product.

Plant Pest and Disease Image Galleries
The image galleries contain copyright-free images and information for common pests and diseases for several important crops and plants grown in Hawai‘i.