For anyone who has palm trees on your property, you need to know that they are all in danger of infestation from the Picudo Prieto or Mayate Prieto (Black Palm Weevil).

For the past few weeks, Sarah Walker and I have been been researching information about this destructive beetle which recently killed two large Bismark Palms on Thomas Bartlett’s property in La Penita. In the past 7 days, Sarah has caught 72 of these beetles using only one trap! This is proof that the issue is even more serious than we previously thought.

Note: If you want to read how we discovered this issue or are interested in learning more about these palm beetles, you can read our original story here… All Palms Are in Danger

Yesterday afternoon, Sarah, David and I met with Renaldo from the Comité Estatal de Sanidad Vegetal in Tepic. Renaldo is going to take the information we provided (as well as several specimens Sarah collected for him) back to his office and discuss the situation with his team. If we continue to document the number of insects in our area, the Comité can determine whether or not they are willing to do more to help us.

After our very lengthy conversation and in-depth question-and-answer session, we have come up with a plan of attack… literally… but we need your help:

1) Distribute Traps in Our Area

Renaldo generously gave us 10 traps to distribute throughout our area and enough fermona to last for 3 months (plus the 2 Sarah had and 3 more traps we found this morning in Guayabitos and got permission to move; bringing the total to 15 traps). We have designated 4 traps for La Penita, 5 for Guayabitos, 3 for Los Ayala and 3 for La Colonia. These traps need to be placed approximately 1 per hectare and no less than 100 meters from every Bismark Palm in the area because they are the most susceptible. We need your help to determine where the traps should be placed, and we need to do it soon before the rainy season begins.

Note: Sarah already hung the 4 traps in La Penita this morning in the locations shown on the map above. Click here to view the full-size map. Now, we need your help to learn where other Bismark Palms are located in order to place traps in the other towns (see below)

2) Maintain the Traps

The traps need to be restocked with 1/4 fresh pineapple every 15 days. We will need volunteers to check the traps for beetles, to document how many beetles are caught and to replenish the fruit.

3) How You Can Help!

If you have or know of a Bismark Palm in our area or are willing to volunteer to help distribute and maintain these traps, please contact us immediately:

  • La Penita: Email Sarah Walker at walker-sarah@hotmail.com
  • Guayabitos, Los Ayala or La Colonia: Email Allyson at Allyson@JaltembaBayLife.com

And please pass this story on to every homeowner and/or renter you know in our area via email, Facebook or other means. We need everyone’s participation so we don’t loose any more palm trees!

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Other Things You Can Do

Proper Nutrition: Make sure your palm trees are getting enough of the right kind of nutrients. Undernourished trees are more susceptible to disease and pests. Palms should be fertilized twice a year with “fertilizante para las palmas”. This product can be purchased from the Vivero Las Palmas for $25 pesos/kilo.

Apply Pesticide: Spray a liquid pesticide, called Permatrina, into the top of your palm trees (without getting it on the fronds). This should be applied once a month. If you clean your palms on a regular basis, you should do this immediately afterwards because the smell of the freshly cut fronds can attract these beetles (also be sure to dispose of the palm cuttings as soon as possible for the same reason). Permatrina can be purchased at Agroservicios in Las Varas for $145 peso/litro.

Exit Holes: Check your palm trees frequently for exit holes. They will be near the top of the trunk and will be about 1/2-inch in diameter. Renaldo says the most susceptible palms are the Bismark, Coco de Agua and Coco Aceite; the Phoenix Rubelina, fan palms and Royal Cubana are rarely affected except if they are malnourished.

Watch for Flying Insects: Please pay attention to any beetles you see flying around your yard. Especially be on the lookout for any Picudo Rojo (Red Palm Weevil) as there is a study currently being done about these pests. These are red in color and slightly smaller than the Picudo Prieto. If you see or catch one, please notify Allyson or Sarah as soon as possible so we can inform the Comité in Tepic.

Picudo Prieto (Black Palm Weevil) and Picudo Rojo (Red Palm Weevil)

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