Information on the destructive insect and what we’re doing to stop it.
Sponsored by SDG&E Environmental Champions Grant
The South American Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus palmarum) is an insect native to South and Central America including Mexico which first made its way to San Diego county in 2011. The eggs of the South American Palm Weevil are laid in the palm and, once hatched, its larvae eat through the heart of the palm gradually killing it. Through this process, this Palm Weevil species has killed hundreds of palms in Southern California.
Learn more about the South American Palm Weevil in Balboa Park in this video:
What we’re doing to address this issue in Balboa Park:
Forever Balboa Park worked with the City of San Diego to begin the process of treating vulnerable trees and removing affected trees. Thanks to the SDG&E Environmental Champions grant, we supported the removal and treatment of many palm trees that were infected throughout the park’s 1,200 acres.
How you can help:
- Report infested palms: The sooner a palm weevil infestation is dealt with, the less likely it is to spread. Infested palms might have a flattened crown or cocoons around the base of the tree. Reporting also helps to track the movement of the weevils and allows researchers to proactively prepare to address future infestations. You can report in two places:
- Get-It-Done app (https://www.sandiego.gov/get-it-done)
- UC Riverside Center for Invasive Species Research (https://cisr.ucr.edu/invasive-species/south-american-palm-weevil)
- Make a Palm-Weevil Trap: If you are in an area where palm weevils are already causing damage, setting palm weevil traps can help mitigate their impact. Learn how to prepare a trap at: (https://cisr.ucr.edu/sites/g/files/rcwecm2631/files/2020-02/palm-weevil-bucket-trap.pdf)
- Choose to Plant Native Trees: Native Palms, like the California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera), are less susceptible to palm weevils. Non-native plants, whether palms or not, can be hosts to a variety of invasive pests and diseases and can harm local flora. Choosing native plants is preferable for many reasons in which you can learn about here: link to PIF video on native plants.