The federal government announced in July that it will be releasing $1 million to help coffee farmers in Hawaii and Puerto Rico battle this invasive beetle. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture Chairman Scott Enright says it is not yet known how much of the money will come to Hawaii and how much will go to Puerto Rico. All money will be used for research into ways to control this pest that damages nearly $500 million in coffee crops each year worldwide. To read the article in Hawaii News Now, click here.
There is currently no treatment that will kill coffee berry borers that have already infested coffee berries. Current control efforts are being focused on killing pathogens inside green coffee beans as they are brought into the state.
Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions offers quarantine fumigation services at their treatment center in Kailua-Kona. Treatments use ProFume Gas to kill 100% of all pathogens in fresh beans. Fumigations are scheduled for Tuesdays, with a drop off time of 12 pm. Reservation must be in before 4 p.m. Friday.
H.C. "Skip" Bittenbender, Ph.D., offers these recommendations to Hawaii's growers to help manage coffee fields and lessen the impact of the coffee berry borer:
Reduce heavy shade
Prune coffee to keep the bush as open as possible, to create a less humid environment for the beetle
Picking should take place at least once a week in the main harvest season and once a month at other times to prevent over-ripe infested cherries falling to the ground where adult females can survive and attack out-of-season cherries.
Cherries should be left on the ground as little as possible. Dropped cherries will provide a source for beetles to reinfest the next crop.
All infested cherries should be destroyed by burning, deep burying or, if possible, rapid sun-drying.
Before a main flowering, the crop should be stripped completely.
If you employ coffee workers who pick at other farms, be sure their equipment and clothing is free of coffee cherry from other farms.
As always, Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions continues to be on the forefront of pest control in the state of Hawaii. If you're looking to protect your business from this, or any other invasive pest, give us a call, and we will walk you through your pest control options.