Guam eyes nets to battle rhinoceros beetle

2015-02-24 18:25

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Hagatna - Nets that have proven effective at catching invasive rhinoceros beetles are expected to arrive on Guam in March, a pest eradication expert said.

Roland Quitugua, the chief Inspector with the rhino beetle eradication programme, told Guam mayors last week that the nets are cost-effective.

The beetles first became widespread on Guam in 2007. The beetle damages and kills trees by burrowing into them.

Quitugua said the nets heading to Guam have holes that are large enough for beetles to get through, but not large enough for them to escape.

The nets can be placed on top of waste piles where the beetles tend to breed, according to Quitugua.

The program also is looking at using the nets on ornamental palms or coconut trees, to protect the trees themselves from damage.

"Preliminary data showing that it's working very well," Quitugua said.

According to Quitugua, ultraviolet light is another way to trap the beetles, which seem attracted to it.

For a fee, residents can obtain lures from the program that give off a scent. The lures are available from the program at its office at the University of Guam's School of Agricultural Sciences.

The beetles also can be managed using pesticides. But that's an option Quitugua said he'd rather not use because of the impact to the environment, although he noted it is a tool.

Read more on:    guam  |  insects

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