Pest of the Month – South American Palm Weevil Admin September 24, 2020

Pest of the Month – South American Palm Weevil

palm tree care

Safeguard your Palms from the Pest of the Month – South American Palm Weevil

ISA-Certified Arborists Offer Some Insights

Featured this month on our blog is the palm weevil, an invasive beetle that is threatening to cause widespread destruction of ornamental and date palms in the San Diego Area. Not only will that lead to huge losses for the multi-million-dollar date growing industry, but it may also leave your landscape looking unattractive and unhealthy. Rancho Coastal’s ISA-certified arborists offer some insights into how the pest of the month, the palm weevil, may be endangering the palms on your San Diego area property.

All You Should Know About the Pest of the Month – Palm Weevil

First identified by the San Diego County and state agricultural officials around 2011, the palm weevil can wreak havoc on a variety of palms that dominate the San Diego area landscapes. This includes the Canary Island date palms, African oil palms, coconut palms, Washington fan palms, sago palms, and almost 30 other plant species across 12 families.  

Here are the key things that you should know about these destructive pests:

What do they look like?

The adult weevils are jet-black, feature an extended snout, and are about 1 ½ to 2 inches long. As per researchers, they are California’s biggest weevil species. Since they originally crossed over into the US from Mexico, arborists refer to them as the South American Palm Weevil (SAPW).

How do they infect the palms?

SAPWs bore holes in the crown region of the tree, or at the base of the palm fronds to lay their eggs. Once the larvae hatch, they feed off the palm crown, essentially destroying the tree tissues that produce the new fronds. Just 30 larvae can kill an entire tree due to the amount of tissue they consume. In addition to the physical damage, the weevils carry a parasite that causes the deadly red ring disease in palm trees, making every infestation potentially fatal.

How do they spread?

A single infected tree can house up to 1,000 palm weevils. Since the SAPWs are strong fliers, they have a tremendous ability to spread rapidly and find new hosts. Over the last few years, their numbers have multiplied, and infestations have become more widespread in the San Diego area.

Can you spot them? Although not very easy to spot, you can find the palm weevil cocoons at the base of the palm fronds or in the crown region of your palm trees. When left undetected they can cause irreversible damage, which means you may have no choice but to remove the diseased trees. A periodic tree care service will help in early detection and timely treatment to stop the palm weevil in its tracks.

Expert Arbor Care and Tree Pest Control in the San Diego Area

The sight of swaying palms makes a landscape breathtakingly beautiful. Protect your precious native, ornamental and date palms by giving them the expert care and nourishment they deserve. Rancho Coastal’s reliable and affordable tree care services offer comprehensive arbor care for the palms and other trees on your property. This includes specialized pruning, pest and disease control, emergency tree services, as well as annual tree wellness programs.

Certified by the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), we are a licensed, bonded, and fully insured tree service company. Our ISA-certified arborists serve a host of residential and commercial properties across the San Diego Area, including La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe, Pacific Beach, Del Mar, Mission Hills, Point Loma, and Ocean Beach, CA.

Schedule a San Diego area arborist service to safeguard your palms from the South American Palm Weevil. Call 619-847-4225 or contact us online to book a consultation.

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