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Red Palm Weevil
Monday, 05/19/2008 - 14:24 -

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Last year I surfed the web and made contact with a Dr. PSPV Vidyasagar, who is an expert on Red Palm Weevil. His training is; 1968 B.Sc Botany, Zoology & Chemistry from Andhra Univ. India: M.Sc 1971 - Zoology with Entomology from Bhopal Univ: PhD 1978 - Insect physiology (Entomology/Zoology) Bhopal. He has advised in Saudi Arabia, Australia, Florida, Arab Emirates etc.
The only reason I have briefly profiled him is because the advice that I have gained from him is quite different to that which is available here on the Costa del Sol.

Last weekend I received an email inviting me to visit his new website, which I did and as a result I sent him the following email:

Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2008 10:50:13 PM
Subject: Re: New Blog Red Palm Weevil
Dear Dr Vidyasaga
Many thanks for all your help. I promised to update you on all developments regarding our palms, so:
You may recall that we were unable to obtain the exact chemicals that you advised and so initially we used clorpirifos 48% p/v (480 g/L) Brand Name Dursban 48. And since our first contact with you we have now treated our palms 3 times, via soaking rather than spraying. The last treatment my husband used was with a mixture of Dursban 48 with another product - Brand name PUXIS Composicion Diazinon 24% p/v (240 g/l).
After the second treatment in January we found a Weevil in our pool, it was laden with eggs (see attached) and we don't know whether it came from our trees or was on its way to our trees!
We can regretfully report that in the Mijas Costa region alone, according to reports from the Town Hall, there are a large amount of affected palms waiting to be removed for disposal. However, we will continue to spread the word and hope that the treatment that we are using will be sufficient to protect our own palms.
My husband has converted a 5 litre spray by adding a long length of 1/4 inch copper pipe (with a bend at the end so that he can hook it into the centre of the palm) to enable him to pump the liquid into the centre of the palm (see attached picture). I hope that this information may be of assistance to others.
Your website is most helpful and I have already started to spread the word.
Best regards Barbara

His reply follows:
Sent: Sunday, May 18, 2008 6:35:53 AM
Subject: Re: New Blog Red Palm Weevil
Dear Mrs Barbara,
Thank you very much for the feed back. I am delighted to know that you are doing very well and trying to save your palms. The pictures you sent are good and I really appreciate the pains taken by your family to modify the pesticide applicator with a long hose to reach the crown. I will be really happy if you can spread this method of pouring crowns with pesticide rather than high or low pressure spray from outside which really pollutes the environement with wind drift and spillage. As from your report, the situation is alarming in your area and there is an urgent need for the local authrorities and the private NGOs like Rotary club or Lions club or such similar body to take a lead and bring awareness among the people of the region. It would be very nice if the local ministry or municipality conduct some trainings to the field staff was well as progressive growers or leaders.

I will appreciate if you pass on your knowledge on this pest to your friends and neighbors so that they in turn can pass on to others. Your expereinces can be brought to the notice of others through the red palm weevil blog. I request you to please send your comments so that I can post them on the web pages and everybody will be benefited.
best regards
Dr.Vidyasagar, PSPV

Please try and spread the word so that between us we can save as many palm trees as possible.
PS: It is widely believed that the Washingtonia is unaffected, but as you will see from his website these palms are not immune and it appears that most varieties are vulnerable.

One other important point is to 'emphasise' the importance of delivering 5 litres of the diluted chemical directly into the crown of the palm so that it permeates/soaks its way down and into the heart of the tree, every 3 months, rather than walking around with a spray that only delivers about 5% to the tree, is totally ineffective and pollutes the surrounding flora and wildlife.

The other important point is that the chemical 'Imidacloprid' has been found by Dr Vidyasaga to be ineffective against this pest. I only mention this because Mijas Semenal have recommended the use of this chemical!

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