Landscape Javier E. Del Río Mol; Manager of Jardinería Natural sl and Viveros Estepona.


The Curculionido Ferrugineus “ Red Weevil” and Pentodon punctatus “ Margarita” is destroying more than a thousand palm trees only in Málaga province.

Where does it come from?

Originally from the South East of Africa, but it has spread to our coasts because of the import of palm trees without the necessary phitosanitary controls.
It has extended in other latitudes like Brazil and California. In 1996 were founded the first damaged palm trees in Almuñecar and one year later in Nerja and later in all Costa del Sol.


How does it spread?

The weevil is able to fly up to 1.000 meters from palm tree to palm tree. When it lands in a new palm tree it lays around 200-400 hundred eggs among the branches of the heart Then they become grub and following the normal evolution of the weevil; they turn into white thick worms.

These white worms nourish from the soft parts of the wreath (the only part capable of generating new leaves), and they build galleries. This process takes between some months and one year. At this stage, the palm tree, dies. The canary palm tree is the most attacked kind but dactilifera and washintonia are also attacked .The first dried leaves start falling off after several months and it takes nearly a year before bare trunk is left.

Does the attack stop with the lowering of temperatures in winter?

The climate of our Coast is so beneficial that we can see egg-grub-worm-weevil all year round, although from November to February its activity slows down.

What does it attack?

Its favourite species are canaries and dactiliferas. Some attacks have been found in Washintonias ,Cocoteros and also palmitos in the countryside though. This means that any species can be affected.

Is anything being done to fight the Curculionido?

Actually very little is done and new infection spots can appear anywhere.  There are not fumigation programs to protect healthy specimen. The Junta de Andalucía and some town councils have created teams to tree feeling and grinding dead specimen charge free. Unfortunately their waiting lists last for at least two months. By that time the weevil has already flown to the palm trees around.

What can we do?

It can be prevented by fumigating every thirty days applying residual insecticide Carbaril , Kohinor (imidacloprid 20%) + Mojante (summer oil to help fix it) directly to the heart by mechanical spray trolley, following recommendations of the technicians of the Junta de Andalucía , who are investigating the plague. It has been proved that injections on the trunk are inefficient. Pruning of palm trees must be only when palms are completely dry and during the cold periods. The weevil female can smell the wounds that is the favourite place to deposit the eggs.

How much does a palm tree cost?

Apart from the aesthetical and sentimental value, they are difficult to value, but their economical cost is high.We include a detailed chart of approximate prices, of the most common palm trees including planting work:

  • Phoenix canariensis “Canaries palm tree” from 1 m trunk high 900,00 € per meter.

  • Phoenix dactilifera “Datilera palm tree” from 3/5 m trunk high 1.000,00 € per meter.

  • Syagrus romanzifolia “Coco palm tree” from 2/5 m trunk high 230,00 € per meter.

  • Washingtonia philifera or robusta from 2 m trunk high 130,00 € per meter.

Where to call?

If you have a dead palm tree in your private property or community place, please call to inform Junta Andalucía + 34 951 038 247 or Málaga council + 902 079 078. They will feeling and grinding the dead specimen charge free. For prevention treatment call us. We can still avoid disaster with your help.

    Tel: + 34 952 812 574 / Movil: + 34 654 509 480

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