Michael Botha, Associate Certified Entomologist and President of Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions spoke with Steve Uyehara of Hawaii News Now, about the many invasive species that are becoming more and more of a threat throughout the Islands. There is a ton of information in this short clip, but here are some of the highlights to help you protect yourself from these pests.
Coffee Berry Borer: In 2010 the coffee berry borer, an insect responsible for nearly $500 million in coffee crop damage each year worldwide, showed up on the Big Island, and the DOA set up a quarantine zone and mandated that any coffee beans moving out of that area needed to be treated. We moved quickly to set up a treatment center in Kailua-Kona so that anything coming out of the quarantine zone would be safe. But it wasn't enough. Untreated coffee still made its way to Oahu, and we are working to try and help contain it there. But we need to work together to prevent this insect from having a major economic impact on our state.
Feral Pigs: This is an invasive species, brought here by humans, which has no natural predators on the islands. For this reason, they have gotten out of control. What's worse is people feed them, not knowing how dangerous they are, or how destructive they are to property. If you see them on the road, slow down. This animal can do a good amount of damage to your car. If you see them in your yard, be cautious.
Little Fire Ants: This pest started on the Big Island and moved throughout the state through potted plants. The DOA did a good job of containing this pest, but it is still a problem. What makes this pest so hard to control is that it lives mostly underground. You could have thousands living in your yard and not know it.
Mongoose: This creature was brought here in the 1800s by the sugar industry to control rats in the cane field. What the sugar companies didn't realize was that rats are nocturnal and mongoose move about during the day, which made them completely ineffectual. And, since mongooses have no natural predators in the state, they have grown to be a pest problem themselves.
Formosan subterranean termites: Michael believes this is the worst invasive species of all. These voracious wood eaters don't have any natural predators either, which has allowed them to completely overwhelm Oahu. If there is one pest to protect yourself against, this is the one.
If you're dealing with invasive species, give us a call. Sandwich Isle Pest Solution isn't just a leading pest control company in Hawaii, our staff holds national positions in the pest control industry. Be assured, we have the knowledge and experience to protect your home and our community from these invasive pests.