Here are summaries of some of the IPM research, innovations and projects going on in Hawaii, or benefitting Hawaii agriculture, communities and natural areas. Projects listed here are not necessarily funded by the Western IPM Center.


Work Group Aims to Make New Endangered Species Rules Workable

“If it’s so complex that it’s impossible, then no one wins.”

That was the key takeaway from a recent two-day workshop in Vancouver, Washington about implementing new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pesticide-use rules to protect endangered and threatened species.

Understanding Hawaii's Ungulate Issues

Hooved mammals – ungulates in scientific parlance – aren’t native to the archipelago but have been brought to the islands over the past centuries. Now, population explosions of wild pigs, feral sheep and goats, big-horned mouflon sheep and axis and black-tailed deer are altering ecosystems, affecting fisheries, imperiling agriculture and causing economic harm. New research aims to document how much damage those non-native ungulates are doing – the first step in understanding what could or should be done about it.

Using Giant Hornets' Chemical Communications Against Them

When the Northern Giant Hornet was discovered in Washington state, state and federal officials mobilized quickly to try to eradicate it. Due to the efforts of that team, which included Dr. Jacqueline Serrano, an expert in detecting, decoding and synthesizing insect chemical signals, no nests or hornets have been found in the state since 2021.

Guam hasn't been so fortunate. Invaded in 2016 by a different giant hornet, the Great Banded Hornet, the island is in danger of having the invasive, predatory insect become firmly established, which could damage Guam's apiculture and agricultural industries. So it will be harder to eradicate – but with Western IPM Center funding, Serrano and Christopher Rosaria from the Guam Department of Agriculture’s Biosecurity Division are going to try.

Group Educates Health Care Providers about Pesticide-Related Illnesses

Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative-Medical produces educational materials and resources on pesticides,  specifically targeting health care providers so they can recognize, treat and report pesticide-related illnesses.

Coffee Leaf Rust Arrives in Hawaii

Coffee leaf rust has come to Hawaii.

The damaging fungus was first tentatively identified on coffee plant samples collected on Maui two weeks ago and has also now been reported on the Hilo side of the Big Island. As of November 2, it hadn’t been confirmed in the coffee-growing area around Kona, which sits opposite Hilo on Hawaii.

IPM Experience is Helping Schools Plan for Reopening Amid COVID Concerns

As students return to classrooms in the fall of 2020, coronavirus is very much on people’s minds. In the West, having an IPM program in place seems to be helping schools plan for reopening.

IPM Protects Macadamia Nut Production on Hawaii

Macadamia nuts are an identity crop for Hawaii, like chile in New Mexico or potatoes in Idaho. Macadamia orchards cover some 18,000 acres on Hawaii and generate $53 million annually. But since the arrival of the macadamia felted coccid in 2005, maintaining that production and profitability has become more difficult. Now IPM is showing growers how to manage the tiny scale insect before it causes branch dieback and kills trees.

Building a Sweet Niche for Hawaiian Cacao

On Hawaii, a dedicated group of cacao growers, processors and researchers are building a cacao industry aimed at producing distinctive, high-quality cacao, the raw ingredient the world's top chocolatiers seek to craft their best bars. Keeping pests off the islands is a necessary part of that plan.

IPM Keeps Hawaii's Coffee Industry Brewing

In 2010, the coffee berry borer threatened Hawaii's coffee industry. An IPM program that promotes end-of-season sanitation was developed by growers and researchers and has kept the industry thriving. 

Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle

In 2015, the Invasive Species Insects Subgroup focused on coconut rhinoceros beetle, an invasive insect spreading across the Pacific. In March of that year, a work group gathered after the Hawaiian Entomological Society meeting to share the latest information and research on the beetle.

School IPM Protects Kids from Pests and Pesticides

Both pests and pesticides are potentially harmful for kids and adults in schools. Common schools pests like the German cockroach or mice can carry disease and cause allergic responses. And children can be more at risk for harm from sprayed pesticides because of their behavior – playing on the floor or in grassy fields, for instance – and because of their developing physiology.

Pesticide Safety Training for Hawaii's Farm Sector

Farmworker safety training often comes with language challenges - but few places more so than Hawaii, where the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii recently produced two pesticide-safety training chartsin English, Mandarin, Tagalog and Thai.

Decoding Chemical Communications to Control Insects

University of California, Riverside chemical ecologist Jocelyn Millar identifies the chemical signals insects use to communicate, then synthesizes versions of them to help monitor, trap or disrupt their activities. Lygus bug is just one of dozens of species Millar and his team are working on. The common thread is that they all communicate chemically, and decoding those chemical signals can create new ways to control those species where they are pests.

Toolkit for Assessing IPM Outcomes and Impacts

The Western IPM Center’s IPM Adoption and Impacts Assessment Work Group, a collection of natural and social scientists from across the country, created online resources showing IPM researchers how to conduct basic impact assessments.

Pollinator Protection in the Pacific

The need to protect and conserve beneficial insects - especially pollinators - is being increasingly recognized. The Western IPM Center led the Pacific Pollinator Protection Program, a Center signature project, to help Pacific Island growers protect these valuable species.

Water Quality Protection

To protect water sources from pollution by pesticides, one of the first Western IPM Center signature projects created training materials for proper pesticide application for agriculture, professional landscapers and homeowners. In a little more than one year, the slides were downloaded 106 times in 20 U.S. states and one Canadian province, and used to train more than 1,400 people.

VIDEO: Functional Agricultural Biodiversity
Farmers embracing functional agricultural biodiversity incorporate habitat for beneficial insects and wildlife on their farms - and benefit from the ecosystem service that habitat provides.
Eco-Label Programs Promote IPM, but Aren't Perfect

Eco-label programs  have clear benefits and promote more sustainable pest-management and growing practices. They also provide certain benefits for growers but have downsides as well. Significant differences between the programs can make judging eco labels challenging for consumers, and with dozens of similar yet competing certification programs and standards, chaos is likely for the foreseeable future.

VIDEO: Urban Farm Pest Pressures and Solutions
Learn about the pest pressures faced by urban farmers -- and how integrated pest management provides economical solutions -- with Ariel Agenbroad, Local Food & Farms Advisor with University of Idaho Extension.
VIDEO: Where to Get Good Gardening Advice
In this video, Ariel Agenbroad from University of Idaho offers great tips for home gardeners about where to get good pest-management advice.