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Associação de Plantas e Jardins     em Climas Mediterrânico

Mediterranean Gardening    Association Portugal

To promote Mediterranean plants and gardens, through education, cultivation, conservation and recognition of their communal, environmental and economic importance in our everyday lives.

Pests & Diseases

Agave Snout Weevil

Posted 9 December 2019

You may have heard about a black beetle which attacks plants of the Agave family. Unfortunately this seems to have arrived on the Algarve.

With thanks to www.Afroplants.net  online nursery, here is some information from Keith Bensusuan in Gibraltar. Please let our Secretary  know if you think you have this problem (mgapsec@gmail.com) and we will try to make a record of outbreaks. Photos and the location would be appreciated.

You can also look this up for yourself on the internet. Please pass this message onto your own contacts or anyone who may need this information.

Here are some comments from Keith Bensusan regarding this pest:

"The Agave Snout Weevil Sycophorus acupunctatus, a relative of the Red Palm Weevil that is a newcomer to southern Iberia.  It has yet to be detected in Gibraltar, but we are expecting to find it here in 2020.

Our anxiety here is that in addition to Agaves, they are said to attack Dracaena, and other members of the Agave plant family.

My advice, first and foremost, would be to promptly destroy any affected specimens.  First of all, destroy infested plants.  They won’t recover and are a source of the weevil.

We have not yet had to deal with an infestation, but I have read that a granular insecticide applied around the base of the plant is the best method of control.  The type that would be used on lawns to control chafers, cutworm, etc.

A systemic insecticide will then be required, to be applied around the base of the surviving plants.  The most effective would probably be Imidacloprid, but that was banned for outside use in Europe last year.  I would therefore recommend that you speak to your supplier of gardening products and buy the most effective systemic insecticide possible."