Arne van Aalst is soon to take up his position at Koppert Biological Systems. Van Aalst, who is now general director at the growers' association...
Palmanem to combat two major pests in palm trees
14 February 2012
The palm moth and the red palm weevil are major pests affecting palm trees. When these pests are not controlled effectively the trees will soon wilt. Koppert offers an effective biological solution with the product Palmanem.
In most situations it is not desireable to use chemical pest control in an urban environment or private gardens. In the case of date palm trees, the food safety aspect also plays an important role. Palmanem contains the beneficial nematode Steinernema carpocapsae. Beneficial nematodes are microscopic worms that search and penetrate the pest insects. This product is harmless for humans and the environment and leaves no residue.
Palmanem targets two major palm tree pests: the palm moth (Paysandisia archon) and the red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus). Once applied properly, the nematode comes into contact with the pest and enters it through a natural body opening. In order to convert the larvae into food, the nematode releases a symbiotic bacteria. The bacteria spread throughout the larvae, multiplying rapidly while feeding on the host tissue and converting it into a form easily absorbed by the nematodes.
Under optimum conditions, the infested insect stops feeding very quickly and dies in 48 to 72 hours. The beneficial nematodes continue to multiply and develop in the host larvae. As soon as the nematodes are in the infectious third stage, they leave the old host and start searching for new targets. If there are no new hosts present, the nematode population will slowly decrease. Palmanem can be used to combat all larval stages of both red palm weevil and the palm moth, in particular the smaller stages. In larger larvae, the effects will be slower.
It is therefore important to detect the presence of the larvae early in order to achieve the best results.
For more information about these pests and the use of Palmanem (application, preparation of nematode solution and release rates) please open the pdf underneath.