According to the coordination made by the Public Relations of the Iranian Research Institute of Plant Protection, Dr. Kazem Mohammadpour, a faculty member of this Institute, made an interview with the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) on Wednesday, April 6, on date palm pest (red palm weevil) in the following link:
He stated that the damage of the red palm weevil was first reported on palm trees in the suburbs of Saravan city (Sistan and Baluchestan province) in 1369, and currently, in addition to Saravan, it has spread in Iranshahr and Manojan city of Kerman province, Hormozgan province (Parsian and Bastak regions) and Fars (Lar city), and since red palm weevil is one of the main pests of this plant in Iran, every year it reduces the yield of date crop in infected areas.
He continued: The main damage of red palm weevil occurs in the larval stage. The larvae spend the rest of their lives inside the trunk of a palm tree, feeding on vessels, central buds, and fresh fibrous leaf sheaths, creating channels in various directions. The high damage rate of red palm weevil is not comparable to other date pests and this pest can cause palm death in a short time.
Dr. Mohammadpour stated: to prevent the spread of this pest, it is necessary to prevent the transfer of various parts of date trees, especially date seedlings from Saravan city and also other neighboring countries infected with the pest to other date growing areas. Familiarity of all palm farmers in the country with this pest and continuous tracking of palm groves in the country is essential to ensure no contamination in them.
He further referred to the methods of preventing this pest and said: "One of the most important methods of preventing this pest is to prevent the formation of wounds on palm trees, proper pruning of trees in the cold months of the year, dressing wounds caused by pruning by insecticide-impregnated gypsum paste, burning of incurable infected trees, and the use of pheromone traps.
He gave recommendations for the treatment of trees infected with the red palm weevil as follows: "Given that this pest lives through the trunk of the tree and it is not possible to access it, the only way to control it is to use aluminum phosphide tablet that kills it at different stages of life, its use is recommended as half a tablet per larval channel (3-5 tablets per tree).
In the end, he said: "Chemical control is only a solution for the treatment of infected trees and various control methods such as agronomic, physical and non-chemical control (pheromone traps) are proposed to prevent contamination." Application of pheromone traps at the rate of 1 trap per 4 hectares (in sensitive groves with young trees less than 20 years old and with many offshoots) and 1 trap per hectare (in insensitive groves with trees older than 20 years) is recommended. In a pheromone trap, a pheromone should be used along with a piece of core tissue weighing approximately 300 grams.