Big danger for the palm trees forests



11 years ago, when I first came to Ban Chang in the province of Rayong, the scenery was amazing. There were numerous numbers of coconut trees everywhere. However, this beautiful palm trees forest is slowly disappearing. 50 percent of the forest is gone.

After reading an article about palm tree pest, I discovered that the Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, also known as the Asian palm weevil was the major pest for palm trees in Thailand. These pests usually weed on a tree of 12 years or younger. The adult first damages the trees by feeding and then it burrows the larva into the damaged section. An adult female usually lays up to 200 eggs. The eggs then hatch into white legless larvae which feed inside the trunk of the infested tree.

To save our palm forest we could use insecticides which are applied with a funnel 5 cm above infested area. However a more eco-friendly way is to use a fungus called Metarhizium anisopliae. This fungus attracts the Asian palm weevil to a point source and kills them. However, if the tree is already infected, it must be killed. It’s the only solution to prevent to spreading of the pest because these bugs are able to fly one kilometer each day.

I’m writing this in hope that someone will take action and save the nice palm trees of Thailand. I would have done something if I had the right materials and knowledge to do so.

Anand Frank Caules

Garden International School

Ban Chang, Rayong