University of Alicante TBF Glen Biotech is 99% effective in fighting the red palm weevil
Alicante. Friday, 10 February 2017
UA technology-based firm Glen Biotech and Elche City Council recently presented the results of the biological treatment carried out during 2016 against the red weevil in 1,600 palm trees of the so-called Palm Grove, recognised by Unesco as a World Heritage Site. 99.39% of the palm trees treated with fungus Beauveria bassiana 203 - marketed with the name of Phoemyc - have not suffered any attack.
The treated palms correspond to the gardens of Bernia, La Cuerna, Red Cross, Del Gat and Municipal Park. The latter being one of the main tourist attractions of the city. Altogether, 4,200 kilograms of a non-toxic biological product have been used.
The treatment in the Garden of Bernia is a continuation of the actions carried out in previous campaigns to test the effectiveness of the fungus in the field. Manager of Glen Biotech Berenice Güerri highlighted the results obtained in this plot "where none of the palm trees treated with Phoemyc have been attacked."
In her opinion, this information should be taken into account for the treatment planning against the red weevil in large palm groves, such as Elche, where, for economic reasons, it is not possible to apply any other solution to all specimens. "Instead of treating 100,000 palm trees we could only treat where outbreaks of the red weevil were found," she said.
Elche City Councilor for Parks and Gardens Antonio García highlighted, in turn, the results in the Hort del Gat where the greatest outbreak of the red weevil was discovered in this UNESCO world heritage palm grove. "All the palm trees in two of its three plots were pulled out at the time when 20% of the palm trees were affected. Only the third plot remained with somewhat lower values That plot was in the worst possible place and we have there now 2% of the palm trees infected," she said.
García stated that the City Council of Elche will continue with the treatment of Beauveria bassiana in the gardens mentioned during this year 2017 and announced that it will be extended to other plots that are close to schools and hospitals, which are difficult to treat with chemicals due to the close human exposure. "Given the incidence, we need to keep on talking about an integrated pest control system by using all the available resources, where biological control is increasingly more likely to be at the expense of chemistry," city councillor added.