Palm Pests – Giant Palm Borers

Palm Tree Insects and Pests

Giant Palm Borers

Palm trees are susceptible to infestations by a number of insects. Some insects that attack palm trees are borers, weevils and caterpillars that attack the leaves and buds and flowers of the palms.

Arborwell Professional Tree Management’s arborist and tree wellness services offer you the most complete prevention, control and wellness program to protect your palm trees from all kinds of insect infestations.

Although there are many insects that are useful to plants, there are many that cause damage by eating into the wood, foliage and the buds and flowers of palms. They may not cause death but prevent healthy growth of palms.

The Giant Palm Borers are the larvae of large beetles that have a taste for the wood of the Washingtonia and Phoenix varieties of palms. These devastating grubs can live up to 10 years in a tree and cause immense damage to it. Intense borer infestations can structurally weaken a palm tree.


The adult beetles of the Giant Palm Borer (Dinapate wrighti) are attracted to trees that are stressed or weakened by heavy pruning or those that have undergone severe transplant shock. The signs of a palm borer infestation begin with the wilting and drooping of large fronds. Gradually, the heads wither and die and eventually the trunks fold up.

If a single tree in your palm grove becomes infested, it is important to test all of the trees. There is no treatment for trees that are infested with palm borers. They have to be taken down and destroyed to prevent infestation in surrounding trees by the pupating adults that emerge from large, quarter-sized holes in the trunks of the infested palm trees.

To guard against new trees getting attacked it is necessary to keep them healthy and vigorous. Trees suffering from poor nutrition and water stress are under threat of attack. Chemical insecticides are not effective against palm borers.

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Pruning & Removals are not part of the tree Wellness programs

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