Palm weevils are an invasive palm-eating species plaguing the area. They attack mainly Canary Island Palms and will infest others. These trees will often need to be removed once infested, and it is important to identify symptoms early on to stop the spread.Read More
Integrated Pest Management
Mitigating Palm Weevils
The South American Palm Weevil is a palm-eating invasive pest. Weevils can fly miles in a single day, and RSF Association is asking homeowners with palm trees to monitor them for any weevil activity. Symptoms of a weevil-infested palm include yellowing foliage, death of new and emerging fronds, holes and tunneling at the base of fronds, a flattened top (shown right) and eventual death of the tree. Pupal cases may also be found at the base of the tree. If weevils are suspected you may email photos for confirmation to RSF Association Environmental Resource Coordinator Caitlin Kreutz.
The Board of Directors granted permission for a palm weevil pheromone trapping study in select areas of Association-managed properties, roadsides and trails. The RSF Association and Forest Health and Preservation Committee responded to numerous member reports and complaints about the pest by hosting a Palm Weevil Management and Mitigation Community Meeting on January 25, 2023, where entomologist and palm weevil expert, Dr. Mark S. Hoddle, presented the details of his plan to study and reduce the infestations in Rancho Santa Fe.
Dr. Hoddle has been awarded a $1 million dollar grant from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to carry out this project which will use "Attract and Kill" methods by strategically placing 1,250 aggregate pheromone and insecticide-laced dollop traps (shown left) through out the Ranch and in surrounding communities. Trap installations will hang in non-palm trees about 1.5 meters above the ground and be marked with warnings to avoid contact. This study will last for two years starting in 2023 and be conducted at no cost to the Association.
A community forum on palm weevils was held January 25, 2023, at the Ranch Clubhouse to address the increasing weevil impact on palm trees in Rancho Santa Fe and Southern California. About 150 guests attended the meeting hosted by the RSF Association and Forest Health & Preservation Committee.