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What Bugs Live in Palm Trees?

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Though palm trees can be an exciting and beautiful addition to any garden space, awareness is of the utmost importance when it comes to palm tree bugs. Due to the wide variety of palm trees available there are also a wide variety of pests that can cause everything from slow, irregular growth to the complete death of the tree, which can be a safety hazard if the trunk is unstable.

Coconut Mealybug

Due to the fact that the Coconut Mealybug can be found on nearly every continent, it is one of the most encountered species of palm tree pest. When Coconut Mealybugs infest your tree they feed on the sap which can cause black sooty mold which can be very dangerous in high levels. In more severe cases where the tree is younger or the infestation is greater, Coconut Mealybugs can do enough damage to kill the tree. Though they can be difficult to identify, the best way is to look for tiny cotton-looking creatures that are hardly visible to the naked eye. When eradicating the pests, be sure to use an insecticide specific for the treatment of mealybugs, as their protective coating serves as a shield against most common insecticides.

  • Though palm trees can be an exciting and beautiful addition to any garden space, awareness is of the utmost importance when it comes to palm tree bugs.
  • Due to the wide variety of palm trees available there are also a wide variety of pests that can cause everything from slow, irregular growth to the complete death of the tree, which can be a safety hazard if the trunk is unstable.

Palmetto Scale

The palmetto scale is a round puffy scale insect that generally reaches about a centimeter in diameter. These pests are commonly found throughout the Southern region of the United States, as well as in tropical areas such the Bahamas, Mexico and any similar climate. Though they generally aren't considered a life threatening pest to palm trees, palmetto scales can become overwhelming in larger quantities and will eventually lead to noticeable tree damage if left unchecked. Symptoms of a Palmetto Scale infection will be seen on the palm leaves and will appear as yellow spots where the pests have fed on the nutrients contained in the leaf.

Silky Cane Weevil

The silky cane weevil is a type of beetle that can usually be found in South and Central America but has been seen in the Southern United States. Though the main target of the silky cane weevil is sugarcane, they have been well known to attack palm trees as well. The larvae of the silky cane weevil are borers, meaning they bore into the trunk of the host tree, which can lead to many problems, including the death of the tree. The damage is fairly evident and where the tree is affected it should look eaten away, at least in cases with sizable infestations. The adult silky cane weevil is less of a problem for palms but, if seen, they should still be dealt with to prevent them from laying any larvae on the palm tree. As far as control goes, pesticides are usually the best and easiest way to deal with the silky cane weevil.

  • The palmetto scale is a round puffy scale insect that generally reaches about a centimeter in diameter.
  • The adult silky cane weevil is less of a problem for palms but, if seen, they should still be dealt with to prevent them from laying any larvae on the palm tree.
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