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Red Palm Weevil

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Have you noticed the branches of your palm tree dropping on the floor!

Is the centre heart of your palm tree missing?

Have you seen a large grub crawling in the trunk of your palm tree or in the branches of your tree

Have you seen this beetle in or around your tree.

If the answer is yes then you have probably lost your tree and possibly others in the close proximity. The Red Palm Weevil is a very destructive "beetle" which lays its eggs in the tree and these hatch into grubs about the size of a finger which proceed to eat away at the tree. After a short while they create a cocoon, usually in the base of a branch where they eventually hatch into the beetle.

I recently started to cut back my tree and noticed one of the Red Palm Weevil grubs and not knowing anything about this I started to ask about. I was told that this is a serious problem for all Palm trees in Spain but especially the Phoenix and Date Palms. These are the large trunk palm trees. I was also told I would need to report this to the authorities and have the tree removed and burnt. Having waited for a week and not hearing anything I decided to seek out a possible solution to the spread of this weevil.

Driving around, and now that I am aware of the problem, I notice more and more problems. Trees dying in peoples gardens; some of which are over 20 years old, on the streets you can see cut down tree trunks waiting to be removed. Probably cut down by the owners who dont realise the tree needs destroying and burnt to eradicate the pests inside.


What Can Be Done

I found a company (I dont know the name but I have entered a listing and map under Services, Farm Chemical Supplies) opposite the Audi/Mercedes garage by the Eroski supermarket just on the outskirts of Orihuela which sells all manner of chemicals for the farmers. The very helpful man explained what I needed and what I should do. I purchased 1l (€16) of insecticide (sufficient for 100 litres of spray) which was recommended to eradicate the weevil. The directions for are as follows:

For a small tree (trunk up to 1m high)

1cc per litre of water sprayed onto the leaves and trunk
6cc per litre of water to water around the trunk

Repeat in 10 to 15 days.

For a larger tree (1m and above)

1cc per litre of water sprayed onto the leaves and trunk
20cc per litre of water to water around the trunk

Repeat in 10 to 15 days

I used about 5 litres of the solution per tree in spraying and a further 15 litres in watering at the base of the trunk. The idea is that the tree soaks up the chemical which then enters the tree and kills the weevil and the weevil grub as they feed offering a longer term solution. The spraying kills on contact and also has a residual effect. I also added about 2 litres of the spray solution directly into the heart of the tree at the top. Pouring it directly on the tree top. The theory here is that this is were most of the grubs and weevils like to feast on the tree and thus needs the most attention.

I have only just started this treatment and I have sprayed my other trees as a precaution so I cannot report on its success or failure. I think one of my trees will die but the other I am hopeful to save.

The areas which I have seen infected are

La Regia, Orihuela Costa

La Zenia, Orihuela Costa

Urb. Blue Lagoon, San Miguel de Salinas (large number of dead palm trees and huge amount of infested palm trees)

San Miguel de Salinas, Orihuela

Bigastro, Orihuela

If you know any more information then please email me or register here and place a listing if you consider it will help. my email is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

More images of the Red Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus)

This is a collection of Red Palm Weevil cocoons from 4 branches!!

The Cocoons of the Red Palm Weevil secure themselves in the base of the branches. These were taken from my tree

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