I've just been sent this link to say that the red palm weevil has been detected in Orange Country, California. This is the first reported U.S attack by this pest that is decimating palm trees in Europe and Asia. As I know a few of you live in California, can I please ask that you keep your eyes out for infested palm trees.
No other country in the world so far has been able to stop the spread of this pest.
Here where I live palm trees are dropping like flies. The problem is major and out of control. I wrote a hub about and have been inundated with pleas for help.
Read about it yourself.
Yes there are plenty of dead and dying palms on Tenerife too. It is sad seeing the leaves going brown!
Tried to wake up our American cousins to this tragedy, Bard. Guess the thread title wasn't interesting enough for them to look at
It seems like the whole world will be infested soon, and they still haven't found a way to deal with them.
Izzy--I guess it just seems so unrelated to many of us because so few states actually have a prolific palm tree population -- maybe 10 states??
Izzy there must have been a time when this wasn't happening! I mean the weevils must have been around in countries with palms but not causing the problem they are causing now so what has changed?
From what I have been able to find out, they belong to Southern Asia where they caused coconut farmers severe problems. In the mid 1980s they started advancing to neighbouring countries, reaching Spain by 1994. Tree importation from infected Egyptian trees was blamed. When it was first discovered in Israel in 1999, they took extreme measures too keep the insect out. Everything failed and the weevil continued its advance.
Now whether their spread is caused by overuse of insecticide in the first place (so that they became immune) or whether or not the insecticides killed off their natural predators (and there must have been some), who knows? Who knows why they decided to move either. It does suggest some kind of genetic change within the insect, to adapt to so may different climates.
There is always a natural control for everything that keeps the numbers in balance somewhere along the line so it seems very odd that there are none for this species!
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