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The red palm weevil
 Rhynchophorus ferrugineus

We Know the Solution
Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs)

Introduction – Spread:
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus
(red palm weevil) belongs to the family of Curculionidae (Coleoptera).
The red palm weevil has become the most important pest of the date palm in the world (Gomez & Ferry, 1998).
The cause of the high rate of spread of this pest is human intervention, by transporting infested palm trees of various sizes and offshoots from contaminated to uninfected areas. Originally from tropical Asia, the red palm weevil has spread to Africa and Europe, reaching the Mediterranean in the 1980s, and was first recorded in Spain in 1994. The weevil was first reported in Greece (Crete, Rodos) in 2006.

 Biology – morphology:
Overlapping generations with all life stages can be present within the same palm tree.The life cycle of the insect is about 4 months. Adult females lay about 200 eggs at the base of young leaves or in wounds to the leaves and trunks; the grubs feed on the soft fibers and terminal bud tissues. The length of the full grown larva is 50 mm and the width is 20 mm. The larval period varies between 1-3 months.

Except just before pupating, larvae move towards the interior of the palm making tunnels and large cavities. They can be found in any place within the palm, even in the very base of the trunk where the roots emerge. Pupation occurs generally outside the trunk, at the base of the palms. The larva pupates in a cocoon made of brown dried palm fibres.

The damage:
The damage is caused by the larvae,
starting from the top of the palm tree and moving inside the palm making tunnels and large cavities. Usually the damage caused by the larvae is visible only long after infection, and by the time the first symptoms of the attack appear, they are so serious that they generally result in the death of the tree. Some symptoms that may be visible at the early stages of infestation are the destruction of the new vegetation and the bending of old leaves (umbrella).

Control - Prevention: Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs)

Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) are beneficial organisms, live inside the body of their host, and so they are designated endoparasitic. They can identify their target, killing him quickly while being completely safe for humans and other organisms. In nature does not occur in such large numbers to effectively control populations of harmful insects.

The application of nematodes are simple and easy. The packaging sachets are mixed with inert material. The content is mixed in water and made locally by injecting the solution of nematodes directly at the base of the crown of the palm tree. Applied to 5 million nematodes per palm per month. Nematodes can survive in the preudotrunk for three to four weeks and if there are larvae, nymphs or fully grown insects nematodes multiply, so successfully increasing the effectiveness of the inoculums.

Nematodes should also be applied to the soil in the area around the base of the palm tree in order to infect nymphs that have fallen from the tree but also adult insects which may be in the area.

The Entomopathogenic Nematodes can be applied both curative and preventive.
In both cases the results are spectacular.

Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs)
                  Treatment:  mortality 82%
Preventive treatment
: mortality 98%

  4 Ioannou  Metaxa , 19002 Peania, Greece , Tel : 0030 210 6642060  

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