Hawaii Invasive Species Council Communication

Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB)
Bi-Weekly Update

Oryctes rhinoceros
male (Aubrey Moore, University of Guam)

Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB), an invasive pest, was detected Dec. 23, 2013 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor – Hickam on coconut trees.  A joint effort between USDA, UH at Manoa, U.S. Navy, HDOA and other partners has mobilized and an Incident Command System (ICS) has been established to respond to this pest emergency.

Please find below the latest updates or click on the following links to view/download as PDF.
Contact Randy Bartlett, CRB Response Liaison Officer, with any questions related to this update, by emailing, or by calling 808-832-0585

*Bi-Weekly CRB updates will be sent to the full HISC Listserv, to opt-out of the updates, please respond to this email indicating you do not wish to receive them.

For more information, click on the links below:

August 18 - 29, 2014 Update
  • For this reporting period: 97 adult beetles and 4 larvae were detected, 4 new delimiting survey barrel traps and 28 new panel traps were placed with 277 and 2,855 trap services conducted - respectively.  47 damaged palms were removed and 29 mulch sites were visually surveyed.
  • On August 20, the Incident Commander, Public Information Officer (PIO) and Planning Section Chief attended and spoke at the International Society of Arboriculture’s Hawaii Sub-Chapter monthly meeting regarding the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB) infestation and eradication program.  Our presence was well received.
  • The PIO updated all current outreach and communication documents this included: a CRB Fact Sheet, ID cards, statement insert and other materials for public and industry outreach events; outreach bins including all outreach material, CRB specimens and tree damage; and the development of CRB kits for other cooperators (DLNR, OISC, HISC and other agencies) to use during their outreach and communication activities.
  • Unified Command staff attended a 3 day class covering the operation and maintenance on the air curtain burner (ACB) that the CRB response purchased to destroy infested CRB host materials.  The response group is working collaboratively with the military and their Environmental Services at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam who are operating this equipment and refining techniques for burning said materials.  The military is in the process of purchasing four more ACB units.
  • Beetle Fact: CRB are not currently known on the US mainland.
September 1 - 13, 2014 Update
  • During this reporting period; 54 adult beetles and 1 larvae were detected, delimiting survey barrel traps were serviced 267 times, 20 new panel traps were placed and panel traps were serviced 2,473 times. 29 square miles were visually surveyed, including 41 mulch sites and 14,208 palms. Additionally, 1 dead palm was detected.
  • Brent Remanda from KHON 2 News interviewed CRB IC Rob Curtiss.  The main topic of discussion was the burning of infested material on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH).  Click here for the story.
  • On September 7, Military liaison Rebecca Smith presented a CRB briefing to the Hawaii Air National Guard Aircraft Maintenance Group. General topics included CRB response updates, information on traps, biology of the insect, beetle, and damaged tree reporting procedures, and overall inspection procedures. Approximately 400 personnel were in attendance.
  • On September 9, one female adult beetle was detected in Ewa Beach in a panel trap. This represents the first positive find in this trap. The find expands the buffer zone 2 miles
  • CRB staff completed expanded trap and visual survey activities across Oahu. CRB Incident Command is expecting an additional 300 traps to be deployed, bringing the expected total number of traps on Oahu to 2,200.
  • IC staff and cooperators are engaging and working with private citizens, golf course managers, and property managers to dispose of all breeding sites (green waste material) in the proposed regulated area. Open house events are being planned for communities in these areas. Specific requests have been made to the City and County of Honolulu, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to dispose of potential breeding sites on properties they own or manage, prior to infestation.
  • The project is also engaging SWCA Environmental Consultants who are contracted by DOT Highways Division to conduct visual surveys along all state highways in Hawaii. To date, this coordination has presented several visual observations to which the CRB response team has responded.
  • The CRB Command and General staff are preparing for transition of the CRB Response to HDOA control and management.  This includes all resources that will assist HDOA in being successful after Oct 1. HDOA, in cooperation with the University of Hawaii (UH), will transition all the current temporary PPQ staff to UH, who then will report to HDOA.
  • Beetle Fact: Click here for the most recently updated CRB flyer.
September 15 - 27, 2014 Update
  • During this reporting period, 75 adults, 193 larvae and 13 damaged palms were detected.  33 mulch sites were surveyed during this period out of 266 surveyed since first detection on 12/23/13
  • 6 new delimiting survey barrel traps were placed and the existing 66 barrel traps were serviced 133 times and 269 new delimiting survey panel traps were placed and the existing 2,050 panel traps were serviced 1,389 times
  • The buffer zone of the infestation area expanded by approximately 2 miles due to a new find at Ted Makalena Golf Course.  One female beetle was detected in a panel trap representing the first positive find in this trap
  • A mulch pile on Iroquois Point near the previous breeding site was found infested with third instar larvae. The find did not alter the current buffer zone. Project staff members are working with the base on mitigation.  Additionally, JBPHH began incineration of wood debris on base.
  • The USDA PPQ Center for Plant Health Science and Technology completed a cooperative agreement with University of Hawaii for assistance on pesticide evaluations and protocols for crown and soil drench treatments.
  • Brent Remadna from KHON 2 News interviewed CRB IC, Rob Curtiss (HDOA). The main topics of discussion were funding levels, overall CRB eradication efforts, and the locations of beetles and infested materials.  Click here for the story.
  • On September 23, Christy Martin (CGAPS), presented CRB information to 25 employees from Terminix.  Additionally, on September 25, she provided information and materials to 6 educators at a teacher’s workshop.
  • On September 26, CRB IC, Pat McPherren (USDA APHIS), delivered a well-received presentation to approximately 30 American Entomological Society members on the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle, National Incident Management System (NIMS), and Incident Command System (ICS) principles.
  • On September 27, CRB IC Pat McPherren (USDA APHIS) and Public Information Officer Rhonda Santos provided CRB outreach at Aloha Stadium. The booth offered factsheets, pamphlets, and identification cards, along with display samples of the beetle, a barrel trap and panel trap information.  Approximately 300-400 people were reached.
  • Beetle Fact: The CRB life cycle is approximately 4.5 – 9.5 months from egg to adult with adults living an additional 4-5 months, making the total life span approximately one year.

This report uses the best information available at the time of writing and is not an official record of the project. Its purpose is to update partner agencies and concerned individuals about project progress. Questions regarding information in the report can be addressed by calling the project command post at 832-0585. Mahalo.

 Your HISC Support Team:

Joshua Atwood, HISC Program Supervisor: 808.587.4154  or

Randy Bartlett, HISC Interagency Coordinator: 808.870.6443 or

Emily Montgomery, Planner: 808.587.4185 or

Copyright © 2014 Hawaii Invasive Species Council, All rights reserved.
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