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The primary mission of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture's Plant Pest Control Branch is to provide a favorable environment for agricultural development in Hawaii by limiting plant pest populations that have the potential to cause significant economic damage. This is achieved through statewide programs using chemical, mechanical, biological, and integrated control measures to eradicate or control plant pests, including insects and mites, molluscs, weeds, and plant pathogens. New pest advisories keep the public abreast of new threats to our environment. Other responsibilities of the branch include certification of seed and inspection and certification of honey bee queens for export.

The Plant Pest Control Branch is composed of two sections:

  • The Biological Control Section engages primarily in work commonly referred to as "classical" biological control, the importation and colonization of natural enemies (predators, parasites, and pathogens) to control pests.
  • The Chemical/Mechanical Control Section uses chemical (pesticides) and/or mechanical (roguing, trapping, digging, etc.) methods to control plant pests such as insects, snails, noxious weeds, and plant diseases. Whenever possible, chemical and mechanical methods are integrated, resulting in an optimum level of control with fewer chemicals. The Chemical/Mechanical Control Section is also called upon to act on plant pests in the early stages of infestation when there is a chance for eradication.