Search Engine Submission - AddMe Red Palm Weevils: June 2011

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Treat palms regularly to protect from Red Palm Weevils

The continual treatment of your palms is laborious and expensive however if you become complacent the result can be disastrous. The nurseries, parks and botanic gardens all treat their palms every 4 weeks without fail, and implement an integrated system using nematodes during the cooler months, mass trapping and chemical crown drenching during the hotter months. These methods of control are to minimize environmental impact by using a biological control which has no effect on any other living organism in the palm other than larval pests, physical trapping and the drenching rather than spraying to minimize drift of insecticide and therefore impacting neighbouring insects, most importantly bees and other pollinators.
The Junta de Andalucia recommend treating within 6 weeks with insecticides. This is because the insecticide only remains active for a 2 - 3 weeks and therefore any eggs laid after this time will happily develop and start eating away inside the palm. It is important to change insecticide so as to prevent any resistance that those young larvae may develop to the one previously used.
Some people have suggested that treating every 3 months or even 6 months is fine.
They have been lucky! Most palms left for such a period without treatment will fall victim to the Red Palm Weevil, especially if there are nearby infested palms.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Hope for Canary Palms

Research is being carried out worldwide to find a solution to the problem of infestation of palms by weevils. At present the use of entomopathogenic nematodes is used widespread in the Mediterranean to control this pest, however, treatments are effective only for a couple of weeks and with such a number of treatments needed annually come at a very high cost. There is hope for the future. A group of biologists in Alicante have been working on the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana which infects and spreads causing death of both adults and larvae. The advantage of this treatment is that once applied the weevils transmit the spores to other weevils. Treatments would only be needed 2 or 3 times a year.

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