A insecticide has been developed, Thiamethoxam and marketed under the name of Actara which appears to give protection for up to six months. Thiamethoxam (TMX) is a second generation neonicotinoid insecticide. The insecticide is applied at the base of the palm trees and is taken up in the body and leaves. Trials lasting eight months have shown a 100 per cent success rate on palms that are over four metres in height. Not a single lava survived the effects of the insecticide. However this treatment is very expensive and normally only used by licensed companies.The news was made public in a lecture given in Valencia by the laboratories of the Estación Phoenix in Elche as part of the second international conference organised by plant health magazine, Phytomer, to discuss methods and strategies in the fight against the palm weevil which saw 1,600 palm trees destroyed in Elche alone. The meeting was attended by over 400 people from countries affected by the Palm Weevil which included Britain. The insecticide is the result of many months work in the laboratories which has resulted in a substance that need only be applied twice per year to afford protection, the longest period of effectivity for an insecticide so far. Only a much lower level of application than most current substances is needed and with a higher effectivity. Females landing on a leaf to lay an egg are killed and the insecticide is not believed to be harmful to the trees themselves. Nematodes (Biological Treatment)
Research reports are showing that the use of Steinernema carpocapse nematodes are achieving cure rates of infected palms of 85% as a cure and 92% as prevention (A. Martinez Peña). It is applied by mixing the live nematodes in water (they are too small to be seen by the naked eye) and spraying between 5-10 million nematodes on a small palm and 20-30 million on a large palm. A well known bio research company is supplying this treatment in Spain in 6 package sizes. Information on this companies products can be found here. This particular product is supplied with a biostimulation product that stimulates growth in the palm to help it overcome the damage caused by Picudo Roco (otherwise known as Red Palm Weevil) . I have used these and they work. The only down side is once the vermin are eradicated the nematodes have nothing to eat hence they die. This leaves the palm open to re infestation.Pheromone TrapsThe trap is a bucket which contains water in the bottom (I add a little insecticide in the water to kill them quickly). Above the water and under the lid are two sachets suspended from the underside of the lid. One sachet containing pheromones and the other kairomones to lure the weevil into the bucket and die in the water. The side of the bucket has a plastic weave to give it the feel of palm bark for the weevil to climb on. One bucket covers an area between 50-100 meters and the sachets require changing every 90 days. From personal experience I have found these to work but they appear to attract more beetle to the trees, and the beetles that miss the trap hit the tree. Information can be found here on this product.
Picuodo Roco (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus)(Escarabajo rojo de la palmera)