Borer plague on almond and olive trees; characteristics and treatment



Today we are going to talk about one of the pests that usually attack both the olive tree and the almond tree. Its about borer. These are beetles that, depending on the species, can reach about 8 millimeters in their adult state. They usually attack plants with a medium and large size such as shrubs and palm trees. In addition, it can also attack some ornamental trees such as conifers and fruit trees.

In this article we are going to tell you the main characteristics of the borer and what is its most effective treatment.

Key features

borer larvae

borer larvae

These are beetles whose larvae can measure more than an adult. Its body is elongated and segmented with a cream color. When it reaches maturity they turn a blackish brown color. It can be seen with strong jaws and the species usually cycles annually and takes two years to complete.

It can attack some plants that are weakened by piercing their bark and entering them to build their galleries. The main objective of the construction of galleries inside the trees is to deposit the eggs by the female. When the young are born, they can make more galleries while in the larval stage. This causes various attacks on the same tree that triggers some symptoms such as yellowing of the leaves and branches that are affected. We can also see how the crown of the tree dried up and, when the trunk dries up, it corresponds to the death of the whole tree.

Olive borer pest

Olive tree pests

olive pests

This pest is made up of two species of insects that belong to the Curculionidae family. The name of borer has been given by the way in which they make the holes in the wood.

Depending on the degree of infestation, the damage caused by these beetles can be slight or even cause significant damage to olive production. The galleries that produce the borer from the bark of the olive tree cause cuttings in the flow of sap and cause the branches to begin to dry out.

To identify that our olive trees are affected by the borer we must look at some of the main symptoms. The first thing is the fall of olives and the drying of the shoots. In addition, it can also dry out some important branches of the olive tree causing the harvest to plummet. To be able to differentiate it with olive verticillosis we must look and find the small hole-shaped perforations.

To treat olive trees with the borer we must focus on investigating those olive trees that have less vitality. Older or more worn olive trees will be more likely to be attacked. They do this because they have it easier to create the galleries in the bark.

Olive borer treatment

To avoid the contagion of borer we must improve the state of the olive tree so that it is not attacked:

  1. We can realize subscribers to help with mineral needs of the olive tree.
  2. We will increase the support risks so that you do not have any type of water stress.
  3. To rejuvenate the branches and prevent them from becoming weaker, we can apply different types of rejuvenation pruning. This will help us that the borer does not attack the older branches seeing the opportunity to make the galleries.
  4. We can also destroy those branches that have the symptoms of the construction of galleries. Normally, these coleopteran insects usually have their maximum level of activity between the months of March and May.

Another way to treat borer is through the use of chemical treatments. We can use authorized insecticides such as dimethoate but it is only recommended if the infestation is high. The problem with the use of these chemicals is that it can also kill the predatory insects of the borer. These insects are responsible for naturally hunting these insects and are Cheiropachus quadrum, Raphitelus maculatus, and Eurytoma morio.

Almond borer

almond borer

almond borer

The borer can also affect the cultivation of almond, cherry, plum and other types of fruit trees with stone and pip. These insects are not the same ones that attack the olive tree, but rather belong to the Scolytidae family. They have an average length between 2 and 3 mm when they are in the adult state and with a cylindrical body. We cannot differentiate the males from the females. Contrary to what happened with the olive borer, the larvae of the almond borer are the same length and are whitish in color. They do not have legs.

As with the olive tree, those almond trees that are most vulnerable are those that are weakest. This beetle also has two annual federations. The first generation begins its transformation phase during the month of April. The adults already go outside the galleries during the month of May. The females of the borer are the cause of making the galleries in the weakest branches or the most decayed trees.

The second generation takes place between the month of August and the end of summer. Adults usually feed on the branches of vigorous trees. The problem and the damage it produces is that, after feeding, they can dry out the most productive parts of the tree. This is how the harvests begin to decline and the tree begins to weaken more and more. One of the symptoms by which we can recognize that the almond tree is affected by the borer is that the wounds that occur during the feeding of the larvae usually release an exudate of sap with a consistency similar to when they suffer from gum.

To avoid the contagion of almond trees, a control of this disease is carried out. Since they attack the most weakened trees, we can carry out a treatment with good fertilizers, a pruning of those most weakened branches to strengthen against this plague. In this way we will be reducing the risk of the almond tree being affected. We remember that the female tends to make her galleries in those branches that are most weakened.

We can also remove all affected areas to avoid contagion. Finally, there is also a chemical control although it is not usually very effective since the individuals are protected by the cortex. The chemical treatment consists of using Deltamethrin with a 14-day term. This treatment also works for the olive tree borer.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about this pest.

Borer plague on almond and olive trees; characteristics and treatment

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