Invasive bug found feeding on avocado plants in Hawaii

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‘In this undated photo released by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture shows adults and nymphs of the Avocado Lace Bug, (Pseudacysta perseae). The avocado lace bug was first discovered in Pearl City, Oahu, in Dec. 2019 and was subsequently identified on Hawaii Island and Maui, the state Department of Agriculture said. Department officials have not confirmed the presence of the bug on Kauai. The infested Maui plants located Thursday, Feb. 13 2020 in retail outlets, were destroyed or treated, department officials said.(Hawaii Department of Agriculture via AP)

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii entomologists have confirmed the presence of an invasive bug found feeding on avocado leaves across the state, most recently discovered in Maui.

The state Department of Agriculture says the avocado lace bug was first discovered on Oahu in December and was subsequently identified on Hawaii Island and Maui.

Department officials have not confirmed the presence of the bug on Kauai. Department officials say the infested Maui plants located Thursday in retail outlets, were destroyed or treated.

Experts say the bug feeds on the leaves of avocado plants extracting nutrients and gradually destroying the plants. It is unclear how the bug was introduced in Hawaii.

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