NEW PEST ALERT
Heads up Kauaʻi, our island has two new invaders to keep an eye out for on coffee plants. Coffee Berry Borer and Coffee Leaf Rust have recently been discovered in multiple areas of the island. KISC, along with the University of Hawaii, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), and the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), are working on an island-wide survey and need your help to spread the word about these threats.
Coffee Berry Borer (CBB)
Coffee Berry Borer is endemic to central Africa and first made an appearance in south Kona in 2010. This pest has already caused damage to the coffee industry on Hawaiʻi island. It has since spread to Maui, Oʻahu, and now Kauaʻi. CBB is a tiny beetle that burrows into coffee berries to reproduce and consume the developing coffee bean. This species is difficult to detect because of its size; an average CBB is no more than 1/16”, which makes their entry points are equally as challenging to see.
Coffee Leaf Rust
Coffee Leaf Rust, also known as CLR, is a fungal pathogen caused by Hemileia vastatrix. If CLR is left untreated, it can eventually lead to the death of the entire plant. Symptoms of this disease appear first on the upper leaf surface and later on the lower surface of leaves. Severe infections of CLR may lead to premature leaf drop, yield reduction, twig dieback, and even tree death. Other symptoms of CLR are that seedlings may also display yellowish spots and lesions upon sprouting.
You can help protect Coffee on Kauaʻi
KISC is asking the community to contact us if they have coffee on their property. We can provide informational materials that will help identify possible infestations as well as offer our services to help survey their coffee plants. This pest has already jumped throughout the islands. Now is the time to take preventative measures and build a network of coffee growers so that we can protect coffee on Kauaʻi.
Coffee is a commonly used landscaping plant, these populations that aren’t being cultivated for consumption are potential breeding grounds for CBB and CLR. If these landscaping plants are left unchecked it may threaten neighboring coffee in the community. If you or someone you know grows coffee you may also contact KISC to join the list of coffee growers, hobbyists, and farmers.
If you have coffee on your property or know of a wild population please contact KISC at
KISC Phone: (808) 821-1490
If you would like more information regarding CBB management please contact Roshan Manandhar of CTAHR at
CTAHR Phone: (808) 274-3477
If you suspect CLR may have infected coffee near you please call HDOA at
HDOA Phone: 643-PEST
File a report online at 643pest.org