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For questions specific to your location or area, contact the CRB Response at

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Q: Where have coconut rhinoceros beetles been detected in Hawaiʻi?

A: CRB are widespread on Oʻahu and were found on Kauai in May, 2023, Hawaii Island in October, 2023 and Maui in November, 2023. Heat maps are regularly updated on our website. Click here to see the current status. 


Q: Why do I see the traps everywhere?

A: The CRB Response and key partners monitor all of Oʻahu for CRB, using traps to identify where beetle populations exist and the size of those populations. Partners have installed traps on neighboring islands, which help to delimit beetle populations. 

Q: Can I get a trap?


Oʻahu: Traps are deployed across Oʻahu in strategic locations to monitor the CRB population. Traps do not catch enough of the beetles to be used as a control method. We need additional traps on islands besides Oʻahu but coverage on Oʻahu is sufficient. If you are concerned about CRB or would like tools on managing infestation, please consult our green waste management suggestions or contact us. 

Neighboring Islands: Traps are used primarily for detection purposes. Partners along with the CRB Response currently have a network of traps installed for early detection purposes. When coverage is needed in certain areas, partners may be able to distribute traps. This will depend on the current need for trap deployments, which will change between islands. 

Q: How does the trap work?

A: Traps have a pheromone lure (a chemical substance that triggers a social response in the same species) that attracts CRB. The adult beetle flies into the side panel and drops into the cup. CRB are unable to escape this trap because the cup is too slippery to climb and CRB wings are too wide to fly out.

Q: Why don’t you hang traps on coconut trees?

A: We don’t want to attract beetles to their preferred food source, it is difficult to hang traps on coconut palms, and falling coconuts pose a hazard to our field technicians. 


Q: What about the oriental flower beetle (Protaetia orientalis; OFB)?

A: OFB are also non-native but have less impact on the environment compared to CRB. OFB feed on rotting or damaged fruits, and are widespread around Oʻahu. Although they are a nuisance, their feeding does not seem to harm fruit and flower production. Please note that OFB breed in the same kind of material as CRB, so if you find OFB larvae, CRB may be nearby.

Learn more in our lookalike species blog.


Q: Is there a pesticide treatment option for CRB?

A: A: Pesticides are applied as foliar sprays, systemic injections, or systemic root drench. Since systemic pesticides require CRB to feed on the palm to die, damage will still occur but will be reduced when there is a reduction in the local CRB population. Check out the CRB Treatments page for more information about pesticides. 


Q: Where did they come from? Where else are they? 

A: The CRB’s native range is in Southeast Asia, including India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. CRB have since invaded the Pacific, including Guam, Palau, and Samoa.


Q: How did they get here?

A: There is no certain path of invasion, but genetic information and pathway analyses suggest human-vectored spread from another Pacific Island. On Oʻahu, the first detections were near the airport at Mamala Bay.


Q: How far can they fly?

A: Studies have documented adult CRB flying up to 2 miles a day. However, flight is energy-intensive, and field observations suggest that when CRB have access to a preferred food source and breeding material, they likely won’t fly far.


Q: Was it the military who brought it in?

A: Both military and commercial flights arrive from areas with CRB populations, so military introduction cannot be confirmed.


Q: What should I do if I find an adult CRB?


O'ahu: Collect all CRB in a glass or hard plastic container and freeze overnight to ensure it is dead. Dead beetles may be thrown away. Beetles do not need to be reported on Oahu. Instead, follow up with treatments and best management practices. 

Neighboring Islands: Capture it and put it in a hard plastic or glass jar. If you do not have a container to put the beetle in, please crush it. Record where you found it and call the CRB Response immediately at 808-679-5244 or email


Q: What should I do if I find a CRB larva in a compost bag I purchased?

If CRB are found in bags after getting home/soon after purchase, place the material in a secure container (such as a 5 gallon bucket) and contact the store and ask to return for a refund. DO NOT dump infested material in your garden/potted plants/natural areas. If CRB are found in bags months/years after purchase,ensure the larvae and any adults are dead, then dispose. 

For buying these bags in the future: 

  • Examine all bags carefully. Don't purchase any bags with evidence of CRB entry/exit - alert a store employee if there are signs of CRB in the bags

  • Source from your neighborhood to prevent accidental transport to an area with low levels of CRB

  • Store bags in a CRB proof container when you get home, to prevent infestation


Q: What should I do with a tree if it’s damaged? Cut it down?

A: Take a photo and report the tree to us. The CRB Response will monitor the tree over time. Host trees can recover from CRB feeding unless the growing tip is heavily damaged or if the tree has secondary damage like a disease or other pest damage. Beetles can move from one tree to another so cutting down one infested tree is not recommended as it might lead them to feed on another. Look for possible breeding sites nearby (mulch, compost, green waste piles) and consult our recommendations for treatment or prevention of breeding activity. Find our treatment options here. 

Q: What should I do with my plant waste?

A: We recommended you treat or remove any plant waste (mulch, compost, trimmings, wood) so they do not become CRB breeding sites. On Oʻahu, use your City & County green waste bins or dump at Hawaiian Earth Products ( in Wahiawa, Campbell or Waimanalo) or Island Topsoil ( in Waianae). For other treatment suggestions or locations outside of Oʻahu, the CRB Response is happy to develop a solution that fits your situation.


Q: I found a CRB larvae in a breeding site. What do I do?  


Oahu: Infested material can be treated to kill CRB. There are several methods that will kill 100% of CRB in the infested material. Only incineration prevents reinfestation and material treated by other methods should be removed to a hot composting facility, secured in a CRB-proof container, or re-treated every 4 months. Decaying plant material should not be transported without treatment. 


Neighboring Islands: Collect suspect CRB larvae and email photos and videos to We will follow up with recommendations. Take photos of the breeding site, including a scale reference for the volume of infested material. Do not move the material off site without initial treatment. You may also consult this article for general prevention and treatment recommendations:


Q: Are beetles or larvae harmful to humans?

A: CRB do not cause physical harm to humans, but they impact agricultural industries and valuable cultural resources. However, because beetles and larvae live in dirt and mulch, they may carry diseases and should not be handled with bare hands whenever possible.


Q: Can you eat CRB? 

A: In their native range, CRB larvae and adults can be eaten. In Hawaiʻi, it is illegal to breed CRB, and they may carry bacteria from the breeding material they live in.


Q: My palm died quickly (within a month or so). Did CRB kill the palm?

A: It typically takes multiple feeding events over a period of time for trees to die. Please send us pictures of the damaged or dead palm and your location so we can identify if the damage was caused by CRB. If not, the tree may have died from a disease or nutrient deficiency.

Q: What is the CRB Response program’s focus?

A: Our program is primarily funded to manage populations near ports on Oahu and around high risk commodities being shipped to other islands. We are also funded to respond to new populations outside Oahu. Crews assess trees for damage, search for breeding sites, and apply treatments in our priority zones. Our three canines, Bravo, Rider, and Coop, are trained to sniff out CRB. Along with their handlers, their work helps us to identify new breeding sites. Our outreach team provides information to the public and professionals while supporting our community response efforts across the state. Our data team analyzes information from traps, mulch surveys, and tree damage. They are responsible for data collection, reporting and more.

Q: Is any research being done on how to control CRB?

AAt The University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, our research partners investigate new control methods and how to further improve our current practices. They coordinate with researchers across the country and internationally.

Q: What can I do to reduce my risk of CRB?


  • Don't transport CRB host material such as much, compost, green waste. Inspect for holes when you buy bags of garden soil.

  • Manage green waste - reduce any potential breeding material on your property and regularly search through.

  • Finding CRB - Ensure all specimens are dead and dispose. Know what CRB damage looks like, and keep an eye out.

  • Treat infestation - treatment of palms includes chemical and physical treatments. Treatment of breeding material includes heat, fumigation and chipping.

For a comprehensive list of treatments and recommendations for reducing CRB risk, visit or contact us at


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Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle

Coconut rhinoceros beetle or CRB are 2" long black beetles with a horn.

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The CRB Response

The CRB Response was formed in 2014 after CRB was detected in Hawai'i for the first time. 

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Read our most frequently asked questions, best management practices; and download printable material. 

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