August 17, 2011 (San Diego County) -- County, state and University of California officials plan to hold a meeting August 18 to update the public, the nursery industry, landscapers and arborists about the troubling discovery of exotic weevils that threaten several species of crop-bearing and landscape palms.
Finding out how far the weevils have spread is crucial in planning a response. Anyone seeing a weevil 1 ½ inch to 2 inches long with a long, pronounced “snout” should report it. Weevils smaller than 1 ½ inches are not a concern. Officials said it is difficult to detect weevil infestations because they live inside palms, but that infested palms will often suffer notched new fronds or damage to the top of the crown.
Palms that the South American palm weevil threatens includes: date palms, Canary Island date palms, coconut palms, African oil palms, sago palms and Washingtonia fan palms. Adult South American palm weevils are black and sometimes have a velvety appearance.
People who believe that their palms may have South American palm weevils are being asked to call the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s toll-free pest hotline at1-800-491-1899, or at 619-698-1046.
For more information, go to http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/awm/, or http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/rpw/