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Garden Centres

Control Diseases

Natura Garden Centre has a especialized team for control and detection of diseases or plague, which can be detected in every kind of plants in your garden.

If you need further information, contact us!

Especial Pine Trees Caterpillar (Thaumetopoea pityocampa Schiff) Especial Red Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus Ferrugineus)

Pine Trees Caterpillar

The annual infestation of Pine Trees (Pinus Pinea) by the processionary caterpillar begins to take effect in the end of summer.

This pest, which is found mainly in Mediterranean and Atlantic regions, causes extreme damage to the pine trees and also worrying skin irritations on humans and animals.

Natura has devised a biological product composed of bacteria, “Bacillus Thuringiensis”, which has no toxicity to people and the environment.

It is advisable that this treatment is initiated in the autumn to prevent the caterpillar from hatching in January and causing maximum damage.

If you are interested in Natura treating your pine trees then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Red Palm Weevil

A phyto-sanitary team from Natura Garden Centre, was called out after concerns from a worried client that their majestic palm tree (a Phoenix Canariensis, 8mtrs tall), was showing extreme signs of wilting and distress. On examination, it was discovered to be slowly dying due to an infestation of Red Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus Ferrugineus), an extremely preoccupying situation, as this shows that this pest which originated in India in 1891, and has over the last two centuries, been found in Egypt, Arabian Gulf countries, Spain (2004) has now arrived to Portugal, most notably, Albufeira and Silves area in the Algarve.

The Red Palm Weevil is the most dangerous and deadly pest of Date, Coconut, Oil, Sago and other Palms. There is no cure, only prevention.

Until the 1970´s, the pest was found only in the tropics.
Since then it has destroyed the following:
1984 - Arabian Emirates – 200,000 palms
1987 - Saudi Arabia – 200,000 palms
1993 - Egypt – 270,000 palms
1995 - Malaga – 2000 palms
2004 - Valencia – 220 palms

This is an extremely worrying situation, as a large proportion of this insect arriving to the European continent is due to the importation of palm trees from Egypt, where 22 out of 26 regions of the country are affected by the red palm weevil. In Spain, in 2004, an embargo was declared, prohibiting the sale of Valencian palm trees, which is the capital of Palm tree production in Europe.
The transport of palms from already infected areas has contributed to the spread of this pest. Strict quarantine at international and national levels should be applied.

The weevil, of which in adult stage can be recognised by its very reddish, orange colour, commences flight when temperatures reach between 25º - 40º. It dislikes light, therefore it is difficult to detect, as it buries itself into the interior of the palm tree, where the female then lays between 200 – 300 eggs, which are the size of a grain of rice.

All stages (life cycle) are spent inside the palm. After the female lays the eggs, they hatch in 2-5 days into larvae (1.4cms in length), which then feed on the soft interior tissues of the palm. This larval period varies between 1-3 months, where the larvae then pupate inside an oval, cylindrical cocoon, made from fibrous strands, and dark brown in colour. After about 14 – 21 days, the adult weevil emerges.

There is no effective biological cure for this pest. The best method is preventative. The crowns of palm trees should be cleaned regularly, to prevent the accumulation of dead and decaying leaves. Avoid cuts and injuries to the palm. When cutting green leaves, cut them about 120cm away from the base. All dead palms or palms beyond recovery should be cut and burned to eradicate the pest inside.

The weevils can also be trapped by luring them into a trap bucket called a “Saudi Trap.” This is a 15lt bucket with sturdy walls with a 4cm diameter opening which contains a 5cm solution of water, sugar and a carbolic based insecticide and pieces of palm stem. This is then fixed to the trunk of the palm about 1.5m from the base. This pest is extremely difficult to detect without a thorough examination of the tree. We can be alerted to its presence by a sad, wilting appearance of the palm and new leaves showing a reddish colour.

Natura have a team on hand to deal with all enquiries, and have already alerted the Ministry of Agriculture, where they are working in close conjunction to devise a plan on the controlling of this pest.

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