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Ministry doubles efforts to combat red palm weevil

More than 11,000 pheromone traps set up to eliminate pest

Gulf News

Dubai: More than 11,000 traps have been laid to catch and eventually eliminate the red beetle that has wrecked havoc among date palm farms across the country for more than two decades.

Around 2,600 farms were visited by the Ministry of Environment and Water as part of a national campaign to combat the red palm weevil, referred to as the most deadly pest of the date palm in the world by scientists.

Weevils are capable of taking down entire plantations by burrowing inside the trunks and eating away at the insides, without farmers realising until it is too late.

Environmental balance

In total 2,655 farms were visited and 11,646 traps installed to lure weevils away from the trees. The trap called Vermonip combats harmful insects and helps maintain an environmental balance and the agricultural resources in the state, said the ministry in a statement.

To combat the spread of weevils, pheromone traps are laid around the trees. In Sharjah 351 infested trees were cut down. According to the ministry, it is vital for the roots to be removed as well as any dried palm leaves and remnants from the soil. Farmers are advised to plant at least 8 metres away from the area.