Have you heard of the Borer Beetle?

Have you heard of the Borer Beetle?

Have you heard about the coffee borer beetle epidemic on the islands of Hawai’i?

The borer beetle problem:

Over the last few decades, there have been increasing concerns from coffee farmers about a tiny creature that infests and destroys coffee berries. These beetles get their funky name from the females, who bore into coffee berries and create holes in the berry to lay their eggs. 

Where did they come from?

Originally found in South Africa, these beetles have found their way to every coffee manufacturing country in the world. According to the University of Hawai’i, the infestation on Hawai’i island began back in 2010. Over the last decade the beetles have been found across all of the islands, with Kauai and Lana’i being the most recent islands to be infested.


A tiny but mighty destroyer:

 This epidemic creates a ripple of problems as the berries can no longer be consumed and must be discarded.  Although these creatures are small, they have the ability to wreak havoc, and can quickly destroy thousands of pounds of coffee beans in a relatively short amount of time.

 The damage can cause up to 30-35% reduction in yield with 100% of berries infested at harvest time.

 As such, farmers in Hawai’i and overseas have been dealt an unfair hand. Many crops have been destroyed and hardworking individuals have ultimately lost multiple opportunities to grow their businesses and provide the amount of crops necessary to support themselves and their communities.


So what can be done?

Over the years there have been various attempts to control the spread of the borer beetle in Hawai’i. SB 855 HD1 came into law in 2021 to develop and implement a pesticide subsidy program to help coffee farmers.  


After various trials and efforts in trying to control the epidemic, one of the more unique methods of mitigating the problem is something you wouldn’t expect- Wasps! This specific type of wasp, known as the P.Coffea has a ferocious appetite for H.Hampie, also known as the borer beetle. According to research, the wasps are only interested in the borer beetle and do not pose a threat to any Hawaiian plants and animals. This method has proven to be more effective than solely relying on hand-picking or using insecticides by over 50%. The Us Department of Agriculture has allotted $750,000 for this type of invasive species removal.  


In Conclusion:

Although this epidemic has ravaged coffee farms across the islands of Hawai’i, there is a silver lining. Researchers, scientists, and farmers have come together to figure out what the best methods of action to fight these infestations. Farms all across the islands have found great success in using these methods to curb the negative effects these beetles have.


Here at Kailua Town Coffee Roasters, we are proud to carry locally sourced roasts such as our 

Maui Red Catuai

Kailua Cold Brew

Kauai Roast

Kona Prime Roast 

Kona Estate Roast 

Our other roasts are sourced from Indonesia, Central America, and South America. All of our roasts use carefully extracted coffee beans to deliver all of the flavor with none of the borer beetle risk. 

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