Forest Solutions Secures Special Local Need Label to Control Acacia Psyllid in Planted Koa Forests
Dr.Tom Baribault, Forest Solutions Inc., Hawaii, 2014-01-07

Acacia psyllid (Accizia uncatoides) is an introduced insect that harms Acacia koa, one of the most ecologically and economically important native Hawaiian forest trees.

Acacia psyllid (Accizia uncatoides) is an introduced insect1 that harms Acacia koa, one of the most ecologically and economically important native Hawaiian forest trees. As it feeds on new growth, this pest damages koa by killing terminal leaders and causing the trees to branch excessively, severely impacting solid wood production2.

Forest Solutions, Inc. has planted and manages hundreds of acres of koa plantings, and controlling acacia psyllid is one of our top priorities. We use an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy to (1) monitor infestation levels, (2) identify acceptable damage thresholds, and (3) deploy the best control options available.
Selecting the right control strategy is a critical component of IPM; options include biological or chemical control. Lady beetles have been suggested as a biocontrol option1 but outcomes have been unpredictable. Numerous chemical insecticides are active against psyllids, but many of these chemicals are either highly toxic or not labeled specifically for use either in Hawaii or on koa. Insecticides such as malathion or carbaryl, despite being accepted by the EPA for use in Hawaiian forests, are incompatible with our management philosophy because of their extreme toxicity. Counter-intuitively, the much safer neonicotinoid insecticides (e.g. imidacloprid, spirotetramat) were not labeled for use with koa.

After consulting with the USFS and UH CTAHR, FSI experimentally showed that imidacloprid (Admire Pro) and spirotetramat (Movento), both Bayer CropScience products, prevent acacia psyllids from killing the growing tips of young koa seedlings. Bayer scientists then recommended the use of Movento because it has improved systemic activity with foliar applications. Forest Solutions, together with Bayer CropScience, has developed a Special Local Need label for Movento, effective August 28th, 2013 (SLN. No. HI-130002, EPA Reg. No. 264-1050). With this SLN, Movento may be used at several koa plantings around Hawaii Island to control acacia psyllids. Exceptional control of acacia psyllid has since been demonstrated at young koa forests, improving form and ultimately wood production.

Forest Solutions is open to collaboration with land managers interested in the use of Movento, and to working with the State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture to revise the SLN to cover more locations across the State.


Dr. Nancy Gillette, USFS
Dr. JB Friday, CTAHR / UH
Ms. Christina Bauske, HI DoA
Mr. Ed Ishida, Bayer CropScience

Questions or comments?

Nicholas Koch, General Manager, Forest Solutions | +1 808 776 9900 x 240
Author: Tom Baribault, PhD. Forest Solutions, Inc. | +1 808 776 9900 x 238
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