Q: Is eradication possible?
A: The CRB Response is attempting eradication and we believe that it is possible with the cooperation of public and private entities. Public reports of CRB adults, larvae, damage, breeding sites, and adopting CRB green waste management guidelines all support efforts to eradicate CRB.
Q: Where is the CRB Response finding beetles?
A: The CRB Response’s monitoring and trapping network has only detected CRB on select areas of O'ahu. Most of the beetles are found in the Pu'uloa (Pearl Harbor) area including Pearl City Peninsula (South of H1) and Waipio Peninsula. There are significant populations in 'Ewa Beach, Iroquois Point, Waipahu, Waikele, Mililani Agricultural Park, and agricultural lots in Kunia.
Q: Why do I see the traps everywhere?
A: The CRB Response monitors all of O'ahu for CRB, using traps to identify where beetle populations exist and the size of those populations. Most traps are not catching beetles.
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 non-native but have less impact on the environment compared to CRB. OFB feed on rotting or damaged fruits, and are widespread around O'ahu. If you find OFB, you can kill it or throw it away. Please note that OFB breed in the same kind of material as CRB, so if you find OFB larvae, CRB may be nearby.
Q: Is there a pesticide treatment option for CRB?
A: Pesticide treatments for CRB have been tested in the lab. The CRB Response is deploying products that contain imidacloprid, beta-cyfluthrin, bifenthrin, zeta cypermethrin, and/or acephate in breeding sites and host trees in hot spot areas when approved by the landowner. This treatment has been approved for legal use in Hawaii by the Pesticide Branch, but is only applied in accordance with the label and where it is intended to be used.
Q: Why haven’t I heard anything about CRB in the media lately?
A: The CRB Response engages in press briefings following major developments.
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 Guam. On O'ahu, the first detections were near the airport at Mamala Bay/Iroquois Point.
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 a CRB larva or adult beetle?
A: Capture it alive if possible (dead is fine too), put it in a hard plastic or glass jar that is well-ventilated. Record where you found it and call the CRB Response immediately at 808-679-5244 or email email@example.com. We will schedule a time with you to pick it up.
Q: What do you do with beetles you collect?
A: CRB are taken to the laboratory at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and studied to develop better ways to find and mitigate populations.
Q: What should I do with a tree if it’s damaged? Cut it down?
A: REPORT. The CRB Response will monitor the tree over time. Most trees can recover unless the growing tip is heavily damaged or if the tree has secondary damage like a disease or other pest damage. Beetles don’t usually live in trees so there is no need to cut them down. CRB may be in the area, so look for nearby breeding sites of decaying plant material and notify the CRB Response if you find anything suspicious.
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 O'ahu, use your City & County green waste bins or dump at Hawaiian Earth Products (hawaiianearth.com in Wahiawa, Campbell or Waimanalo) or Island Topsoil (islandtopsoil.com in Waianae). For other treatment suggestions or locations outside of Oahu, the CRB Response is happy to develop a solution that fits your situation.
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: My palm died quickly (within a month or so). Did CRB kill the palm?
A: Given the current population density on O'ahu, it would be unlikely that CRB killed the tree. 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.
Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle
Coconut rhinoceros beetle or CRB are 2" long black beetles with a horn.
The CRB Response
The CRB Response was formed in 2014 after CRB was detected in Hawai'i for the first time.
Read our most frequently asked questions, best management practices; and download printable material.