Half of all palm trees located in private properties are affected.
Red palm weevil
This recent, unstoppable pest which originates from South East Asia has quickly spread around the world. At current, it is present throughout our Mediterranean coast.
Palm trees are the main victims of this pest, in particular the Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis) and the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera). The adult specimens lay their eggs (between 300 and 400 per female) inside the soft tissue of the palm crown, where, once the larvae hatch, they will begin to feed on the fibres inside the palm tree.
These larvae can grow to up to 5cm in length and use their powerful jaws to eat the soft fibre of the palm tree. They dig tunnels along the entire plant which weaken it and consequently, kill it. In the most extreme cases, this can cause the palm tree to fall.
Signs of red palm weevil
Red palm weevil affect the inside of the palm trees; it is not easy to detect the signs until it is already too late.
The first visible signs of larvae inside the trunk appear after one year of activity. They generally manifest as follows:
-Weakening of the growing point
-Evidence of the cocoons where the females lay their eggs.
Another important indicator that your palm trees may be affected is if other palm trees in the surrounding area have already been attacked. This pest spreads very quickly. If your neighbours have already had this pest, you most likely have it but have not yet realised.
The Will-Kill solution
The best treatment against this pest is prevention. Once the palm tree is affected, the signs are not visible until the damage is extensive and difficult to recover from.
The preventative plant treatment will be carried out periodically over the course of the year and will consist of heavily spraying or pouring insecticide onto the plant, ensuring that the product reaches the interior of the base of the leaves, especially at the crown.
The treatment can be carried out once the palm tree is affected, as long as the pest is identified during the early stages. This treatment does not guarantee the recovery of your palm tree and it should be carried out alongside significant pruning, eliminating all the affected parts prior to applying the plant protection treatment.
Another treatment offered by Will-Kill is known as endotherapy, which consists of injecting insecticide directly into the palm tree using the vascular system of the plant itself to facilitate its distribution, ensuring that any unwanted insect that feeds on it will by affected by the product.
This pest does not have a continuous, annual life cycle, but instead it is repeated every 3-4 months.