Enjoying a breezy day at the beach, I only have to look up to be reminded that even in this gorgeous & unassuming paradise there are dangers threatening our island home. Directly above my shade spot, the palm fronds are marked with a chevron trim pattern, a telltale sign of the coconut rhino beetle- an invasive species that is devistating on our palm population.
The beetles create this pattern while burrowing into the young, unfurled palm leaves. Although it looks like a fancy trim job, it is a sign of certain death for the victim palm tree.
There are numerous ways that scientists are working on combatting rhino beetle infestation. One way is early detection and tracking by using audio equipment, listening for grubs chewing away at the inside of the trunk. They are also implementing a naturally-occurring beetle virus to slow feeding & population growth. If you'd like to help eradicate this threat, and you know of infested trees in your area, call 475-PEST. A team of experts will come to take away beetles, grubs, survey the area & give you a free T-shirt!