Save Palm Trees from Weevil Devils
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Introduction

April 29th, 2008 Posted in Introduction of palm weevil

 

Introduction to Red palm WeevilPalms around the world are ruthlessly attacked and damaged by the Red Palm Weevil.  It targets coconut, date, oil and other palms causing great economic loss to the growers.  In some countries it not only causes direct losses but also  transmits diseases as a vector of dreaded red ring disease in oil palm in latin American countries.

The red weevil is reported to be a native of south Asia but surprisingly no natural enemy of any consequence is noticed in this part.  Perhaps that is the reason why the pest has spread to newer  regions in the past two decades at a phenomical speed.  As the scientific community makes concerted efforts to suppress the pest, evidence is emerging about the occurrence of the pest from newer areas and continents.

On a evolutionary basis, it is safe to say that the red palm weevils are divided in to several species.  The ones present in Asia especially India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia etc are categorized as Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Oliv.  The species found in Americas is R. palmarum and the one in Africa is R. phoenicious.

Recent advances in biotechnology have facilitated the understanding of evolutionary biology of various species or varients of Rhynchophorus species.  It is hoped that the information gathered on these lines will ultimately help the biologists to understand the intricate mechanisms of evolutionary genetics and lead to more effective means of managing these pests.  An interesting area for intensive research is the palm weevil genomics.  The studies will pave the way for the application of novel methods of control in future.


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  1. 140 Responses to “Introduction”

  2. By Caztobin on Aug 18, 2008

    Can anyone help? We live in Southern Spain, Alhaurin de la Torre & having phoned the town hall today to advise them we have just found that our plam is suffering from the red weevil, they were not sure what we were talking about. They have said that the fumigation department are on holiday until next week, but will send them round then to take a look.

    I thought with the severity of the situation they would have been more enthusiastic to do something.

    With a little internet searching to find out what was happening to our beloved tree & pulling down a couple of fonds in the hope that the weevil was not the cause, we were sadly disappointed to find out it was.

    Can anyone suggest anything - the palm is very tall? Thanks

  3. By Dr Vidyasagar on Aug 20, 2008

    The pest problem has been prevalent in most of the areas including Mijas region, Marbella, and others in coastal Spain. Some people from these areas have contacted me earlier and I gave them the required information. If you have identified the damage clearly and found some adults of Red Palm Weevil, you may try these control methods.
    You can treat the palms yourself with any of the following chemicals available in the local market. Make sure that these pesticides are registered for use in your area.
    1. Chlorpyriphos 40EC (Dursban)
    2. Metasystox R 50EC
    3. Methidathion (Supracide) 40EC
    4. cypermethrin + dimethoate (Salut) 50EC
    The pesticide can be administered as regular spraying or just soak the affected areas. Ensure that the palm crowns are properly covered with the pesticide. Regular checking of palms around the damaged palm should be done for any symptoms of pest infestation. The second method is stem injection with a pesticide. 1. If the damage is superficial and not more than one inch deep, remove the damaged tissue carefully and apply any of the above pesticides or carbaryl (0.1%) and cover with wet clay. Don’t use cement. 2. If it is absolutely necessary, make a hole with drill (mechanical or electric) about 6″ deep in a slanting manner and pour 1% solution of the above chemicals or carbaryl. I hope you will adopt these methods successfully and save your palms.

  4. By Dr Vidyasagar on Sep 7, 2008

    I have posted a few pictures under ‘Album pics’ category. You can also post your pics on this blog for the benefit of others.

  5. By rfnomis on Sep 22, 2008

    Dr Vidyasagar
    I have just discovered what I believe to be RPW in a mature 4.5 m tree. First thank you for the information you have provided here. As I understand the problem the lava bore into the tree I assume from the crown area and take the nourishment from the tree. Is topical application of the recommended chemicals sufficient if the weevil is within the tree? I am desperate to do whatever is necessary to deal with this because the trees are an important feature for us. Also The chemicals cocktail listed is applied full strength or is there a water vehicle? What is your opinion on drilling holes and injection. If this technique is used, are the chemicals listed safe when used in this manner or should other mixtures or insecticides be substituted? Because I have not determined if the infection is localized or broad based, treatment would be for the entire tree with holes drilled in 3-4 locations based on your comments.

    Lots of questions in advance I
    thank you for your time and your reply. Obviously I want to start your recommended treatment as soon as possible

  6. By Dr Vidyasagar on Sep 22, 2008

    Make sure that the damage is caused by Red Palm Weevil from the pics of damage symptoms and the life stages given in this site or local expertise. Once you identify the symptoms, try to locate the freshly damaged tissues if any either at the crown or below crown or base of the palm. Then clean the damaged area of the chewed up fibres or gum or both superficially. Then make holes of ¾ or 1” diameter and 6” deep at 45 degrees angle in the stem and apply the insecticide. The insecticide has to be diluted with water as per the instructions. Seal the hole with wet clay or mud to avoid evaporation. If you suspect the infestation is in the crown region, simply pour the insecticide liquid into the crown. No need to drill holes in the crown. It will penetrate into the tissues and will be absorbed and translocated to other parts of the plant. No need to drill holes everywhere on the stem. Monitor the progress and improvement of the palm through the appearance of new leaf in the next 30-50 days.

  7. By Erik2411 on Feb 15, 2009

    Dear Dr Vidyasager,

    I live on the Algarve coast of Portugal -more exactly Mexilhoeira Grande, near Portimao.
    We unfortunately see lots of cases of red palm weevil attacks in the area and unfortunately one of my Palm trees got attacked a year ago and lost its crown. I cleaned out the crown (quite disgusting, smelling and with several larvas) and treated with pesticides (Destroyer 480EC and Cythrin 10 EC).

    I continue to treat this palm tree and the rest of my palm trees with Destroyer 480EC and Cythrin 10 EC every 3 month. The remaining leaves on this palm tree (now without the crown) are still green.
    It is now one year since the Red Palm Weevil attack and there is unfortunately no sign of new leaves in the crown.

    I have 3 questions for you:

    1. Do you think that this palm tree will survive?

    2. I was thinking of trying to plant another young palm tree of about 100 cm high in the crown of the palm tree. Do you think that the young palm tree will be able to grow its roots through the host and develop?
    If so what would be the directions I should follow?

    3. Regarding the continuing treatment of the remaining palm trees in my garden, could you please tell me if the pesticides Destroyer 480EC and Cythrin 10 EC are the best pesticides to control the Red Palm Weevil?

    These 2 pesticides are very efective but are a bit expencive (about 100 Euros) so I would appreciate if you could tell me about other effective pesticides which are less expensive.

    Thank you very much.

    Best regards

    Erik

  8. By Dr Vidyasagar on Feb 16, 2009

    As rightly pointed out by you, RPW damage is reported widely from Algarve coast of Portugal for more than a year. Frequent enquiries are received about the management of this pest by me. Some comments are posted on the blog but some remain unpublished as Q & A. I presume the palm you are referring to is canary palm. Many palms despite infestation on the crown remain live with green leaves, as long as the growing tip (apical meristem) is not completely destroyed. So I hope the apical meristem/bud is still intact or the adjoining portion is live. Sometimes, the activity of the bud may revive and the new leaves may start appearing at a later date.
    The answers for your questions are given below:
    1. You have to watch this palm, until the emergence of new leaves. Otherwise, you may wait till all leaves of the crown weather. Up to that point you may have to treat the crown with pesticides to avoid re-infestation.
    2. No. Unfortunately your method of transplanting a new juvenile palm in the crown will not work. So I suggest that you better plant a new palm separately near to the infested old palm. Then you will have a choice after one year. If the old palm revives the juvenile palm can be moved to a new place and transplanted. In case the old palm dies, you can remove it and allow the new palm to grow in its place. It is a practice in commercial plantations, to do under planting in a old palm garden, where young palms are planted in between old palms and after 3-5 yrs, the old ones are removed. Thus they maintain productivity levels higher.
    3. You are using good chemicals for the treatment of Red Palm Weevil. Both chemicals Destroyer 480 (Chlorpyrifos 48 EC) and Cythrin 10 EC (Cypermethrin 10 EC) mentioned by you can be used against this pest. You may see the link http://blog.redweevil.com/2008/04/introduction/#comment-13 for additional pesticides to control the weevil pest. For making the pesticide use more economical, you must follow the correct dosage and avoid excess.

  9. By mhepton on Oct 14, 2009

    Hello

    I have just treated on infected palm here in my garden near Silves Algrave with Bayer Confidor which my local agric shop says should work???

    Anyway whay do I never see mentioned the ecopalm microwave italian machine as an answer..or would it not work if rods were inserted in the palm and then from a generator and then say a 30 second electric 240 volt current sent thru the palm, as the palm is so wet the charge would certainly travel thru the palm and should electrocute any bugs in the plant!

  10. By Victor Sudarikov on Jun 15, 2010

    Red Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) – Красный пальмовый долгоносик.
    Распространение данного вида обусловлено в первую очередь бездумной селекцией и неограниченном распространение в мире флоры. Отсутствие фито контроля особенно явно выявляется на территории Европы. Где лишь малая часть Пальм принадлежит к фермерским плантациям.
    Ограниченные ранее территориально данный вид жука регулировался исключительно климатическими факторами. Повышением влажности и понижением температуры окружающий среды в ночное время.
    Сейчас же напротив мы наблюдаем исключительно положительные условия для проникновения вглубь Европы данного жука находящегося в благоприятных условиях. Важным фактором явится комплексный подход регулирующий посадки в зоне поражения. Исключительно не правильным является, на мой взгляд, высадка аналогичной культуры в замен погибающий, как предлагается раннее. Тем самым продолжая жизнь данного бедствия.
    Возлагая надежды на Инсектициды, мы можем подвергнуть мутации жука и пальмы.
    Тем не менее возможно предложить аналоги используемым в Европе средствам:
    Ход лечения:
    1) ИСКРА Двойной Эффект (д.в. циперметрин + перметрин (21+9) г/кг, ТПК ТЕХНОЭКСПОРТ, таблетка 10 г) – 10 литров рабочего раствора – 2-3 пальмы (в среднем);
    2) Командор (д.в. имидаклоприд 200 г/л, ТПК ТЕХНОЭКСПОРТ, флакон 10 мл) – 10 литров рабочего раствора – 2-3 пальмы (в среднем);
    Чередование туманным опрыскиванием и непосредственное орошение центра роста листьев.
    3) Также эффективным средством является своевременный уход за стволом пальмы, сжигание срезанных листьев, использование ловушек размещенных за пределами зоны произрастания на удаление 100-200м.

    Distribution of this species is primarily due to reckless selection and unrestricted distribution of the world’s flora. Lack of control of phyto especially clearly revealed in the territory of Europe. Where only a small part of the palm belongs to the farmers’ plantations.
    Previously geographically restricted this type of beetle regulated solely by climatic factors. By increasing the humidity and lowering the ambient temperature at night.
    Now, on the contrary, we are seeing very positive environment for penetration deep into Europe, this beetle is in favorable conditions. An important factor will be a comprehensive approach to regulating the landing zone of destruction. Extremely not correct is, in my view, landing a similar culture in substitutions dying, as proposed earlier. Thus continuing the life of the disaster.
    Placing their hopes on Insecticides, we can expose mutation beetle and palm trees.
    Yet perhaps offer analogues used in Europe Drugs:
    The course of treatment:
    1) SPARK Double Effect (ai cypermethrin + permethrin (21 +9) g / kg, TPK Technoexport, tablet 10 g) - 10 liters of working solution - 2-3 palm trees (on average);
    2) Commander (ai Imidacloprid 200 g / l, TPK Technoexport, bottle 10 ml) - 10 liters of working solution - 2-3 palm trees (on average);
    Alternating misty spray and direct irrigation of the center of growth of leaves.
    3) Also effective is the timely care of the trunk of the palm, the burning of cut leaves, using traps placed outside the zone of growth to remove 100-200m.

    These observations Portugal, Algarve, near Faro.
    It would be interesting to know the situation in the area of Porto. With low climatic temperatures winter 2009-2010.

  11. By Dr Vidyasagar on Feb 5, 2011

    Belated remarks….I will be more upto day as promised at the beginning of this year. Interesting information from Victor

  12. By Dr Vidyasagar on Feb 5, 2011

    Regarding ecopalm ring, the technology has not been adopted yet.

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