Coconut rhino beetles, your days are numbered - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Coconut rhino beetles, your days are numbered

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by Heather Hauswirth

Guam - The Department of Agriculture says they have aggressively stepped-up their eradication efforts toward eliminating the coconut rhinoceros beetle by focusing on sanitizing all known breeding grounds.  Logistics chief of the Rhino Beetle Eradication Program Roland Quitugua says he has received positive feed back from USDA officials as well as Dr. Bob Vandamere from the Agriculture Research Service in Gainsville, Florida, who worked on a similar project out in Fiji.

"All known areas of breeding we have found and have sanitized them and now are in the process of going to areas with past infestation and if there is anything that pops up there we go ahead and clean those out," he said.

Quitugua says residents need to continue to inform the Department of Agriculture of any suspected rhino beetle damage so that crews can be sent over to scout out the area. The beetle can easily be identified from looking at damaged coconut trees, which usually have cuts with "v" shapes or large holes the size of a quarter to a golf ball.

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