“The silent invasion of Hawai‘i by insects, disease organisms, snakes, weeds, and other pests is the single greatest threat to Hawai‘i’s economy and natural environment and to the health and lifestyle of Hawai‘i’s people. Pests already cause millions of dollars in crop losses, the extinction of native species, the destruction of native forests, and the spread of disease. But many more harmful pests now threaten to invade Hawai‘i and wreak further damage. Even one new pest—like the brown tree snake—could forever change the character of our islands. Stopping the influx of new pests and containing their spread is essential to Hawai‘i’s future well-being.” —excerpt from the Hawai‘i Ecosystems at Risk website
Invasive Species Organizations & Resources
Hawai‘i State Pest Hotline – Call toll-free from any island within Hawai‘i (no 1 or area code required): 643-PEST (7378)
Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk Project (HEAR)
A comprehensive list of animal and plant invasive species in Hawai‘i.
Hawai‘i Invasive Species Council (HISC)
Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species (CGAPS)
College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources (CTAHR)
A list of the worst invasive horticultural plants in Hawai‘i compiled by the Hawai‘i State Alien Species Coordinator, Department of Land & Natural Resources Division of Forestry & Wildlife. Species on this list should not be grown anywhere in the state of Hawai‘i.
CTAHR Kona – (808) 322-4892
CTAHR Hilo – (808) 981-5199
Integrated Pest Management in the School Garden
School Garden Weekly
Planting pono means taking care to make good planting decisions, not just for you and your yard, but also for our ‘āina.
Big Island Invasive Species Committee Blog Spot
This blog is a place to learn about the impacts of invasive species on Hawai’i Island’s native ecosystems and what you can do to help protect this beautiful place for the future.
Recent Invasive Species for Hawai‘i Island
Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death
Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death | Ceratocystis Wilt of ʻŌhiʻa
A newly identified disease has killed large numbers of mature ʻōhiʻa trees (Metrosideros polymorpha) in forests and residential areas of the Puna and Hilo Districts of Hawaiʻi Island. This disease has the potential to kill ʻōhiʻa trees statewide.
Control of Coqui Frogs in Hawai‘i – CTAHR
It is estimated that coqui frogs infest 60,000 acres of Hawai‘i Island. They are transported on vehicles and by moving vegetative material.
Little Fire Ants
‘Stop the Little Fire Ant’
Fast Facts on Little Fire Ants
Little Fire Ant threat to Organic Farms in Hawai‘i
New Pest Advisory – Little Fire Ant
Little Fire Ant Website with Hilo Extension Ant Expert Cas Vanderwoude
The Hawai‘i Ant Lab
Little Fire Ants (LFA) are stinging ants that are new to Hawai‘i and spreading rapidly. In East Hawai‘i, LFA are widespread between lower Puna and Laupāhoehoe and recent findings have been reported in Kona. New infestations should be reported to the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) immediately by calling 643-PEST. If you suspect that your yard is infested with Little Fire Ants, smear chopsticks or pencils with peanut butter and place them in suspected areas. Check the sticks after one hour, drop them into a sealable plastic bag, and freeze overnight. Take the specimens to the state department of agriculture, county extension service, or department of entomology at a local college for positive identification.
Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)
CTAHR information on Coffee Berry Borer
Biological Control of Coffee Berry Borer in Organic Coffee
One of the most devastating coffee pests, the coffee berry borer has been found at several coffee farms in Kona. The coffee berry borer is a small beetle native to Central Africa which is found in many coffee growing regions of the world, including Central and South America. The beetle bores into the coffee “cherry” to lay its eggs. The larvae feed on the coffee bean, reducing the yield and quality of the bean. Because the larvae are inside the bean, they are difficult to control with pesticides.
Stinging nettle caterpillars (Darna pallivitta)
Stinging Nettle Caterpillar Pest Alert
These invasive caterpillars also travel on nursery plants. Infestations have been reported in East Hawai‘i and on O‘ahu and Maui.
Small Hive Beetle
This pest, considered to be a serious threat to honeybee populations in Hawai‘i, has recently been detected on Maui and on Moloka‘i. These beetles are now believed to be widespread on Hawai‘i Island and O‘ahu after their initial discovery in April 2010 and November 2010, respectively.
Suspected bee mite infestations in areas other than O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island should be reported immediately to the state’s toll-free Pest Hotline at 643-PEST (7378) or to HDOA’s Apiculture Specialist, Danielle Downey, in Hilo at 936-5483.
Natural Pest Control