The Red Palm Weevil, also known as palm weevil, Asian palm weevil or Sago Palm Weevil, is a large weevil and widely considered to be the most damaging insect pest of palm trees in the world.
Red Palm weevil adults are usually attracted to unhealthy or stressed palm trees, but can also attack healthy palms. The presence of an infestation is often only noticed in the later stages due to the damage caused by the larvae feeing in growing tissues of the leaf bud and upper trunk. Once under attack, the palm growth is diminished and open to infection by microbial agents.
Visual symptoms include tunnels in the trunk or the fronds base and viscous oozing fluids from them. An auditory symptom is the “gnawing ” sound caused by larvae feeding inside the trunk. A distinctive “fermented” odor is also generally present together with frass (chewed plant material) at the entrances of the tunnels. Another telltale sign is the presence of empty pupal cases and dead adult red palm weevils around the palm trees. The toppling of the palm crown or broken trunks are another sign which , in most cases signifies that the attack was not caught in time.
There are specific natural enemies and solutions for different weevils.
For more information contact your local BioBee field agent.