Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research
Project Number: 2040-43000-018-023-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement
Start Date: Mar 15, 2022
End Date: May 31, 2023
Coffee berry borer (CBB) has spread around the world to new coffee production areas, including Hawaii and Puerto Rico, without the insect natural enemies that normally would help limit its population growth. Classical biological control is a vital integrated pest management (IPM) component in many coffee production areas but has not been used in Hawaii or Puerto Rico. This project focuses on the implementation of classical and augmentative biological control to help control CBB populations. The goals of this project are to: 1) Develop the science and technology to conduct classical biological control in Hawaii and Puerto Rico and show proof of concept for mass rearing and possible augmentation of approved biological control agents. 2) Reduce CBB numbers in infested areas in Hawaii and Puerto Rico using classical and augmentation biological control, which will reduce the likelihood of pest export and spread. 3) Integrate biological control with other IPM technologies for CBB control in all cropping zones.
The goal is to make inoculative and augmentative biological control releases in CBB-infested coffee production areas and to study existing parasitoids of CBB in Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The focus will be on three species of parasitoids—Phymastichus coffea, Prorops nasuta, and Cephalanomia stephanoderis that have been successfully reared in the laboratory and are widely used in augmentation programs in other countries, particularly Latin America. The initial focus is on Phymastichus coffea. Host range testing will be conducted in Hawaii and Puerto Rice to determine P. coffea host specificity and safety for release. Cenicafe will pilot test parasitoid release strategies. ARS will develop mass rearing techniques.